Archive for Thursday, January 4, 2001

Youth volunteer charged in sex case

January 4, 2001

A Tonganoxie church youth volunteer was charged Tuesday in connection with the molestation of several teen-agers.

A 33-year-old man was charged in Douglas County District Court with three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, five counts of indecent liberties with a child, two counts of criminal sodomy and one count of aggravated sexual battery.

During a brief court appearance Tuesday, a judge raised the suspect's bond from $20,000 to $30,000. The judge also denied the suspect's request to have a court-appointed attorney represent him.

The Sentinel generally does not name suspects in sex crimes unless they have been convicted because of company policy.

The charges allege that the defendant had sexually abused five boys, now 13 to 15 years old, in the past three years. Investigators would not say how he met the boys, although all of them reportedly go to the Tonganoxie United Methodist Church, where he worked with youth.

The charges allege that the sexual contact took place at the suspect's residence in Lawrence.

The alleged incidents came to light, when a boy reportedly told a minister at the Tonganoxie church several weeks ago about the abuse. The minister reported the incident to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services. The SRS then contacted Lawrence police.

The defendant, a youth leader at the church, was arrested last Thursday by Lawrence police, who served a search warrant at his home.

Leavenworth County authorities are considering their own investigation, although nothing officially had been announced as of Tuesday.

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