Archive for Thursday, July 16, 2009

Defendant in sex case competent to stand trial

July 16, 2009

Psychiatric testing shows a 66-year-old Basehor resident accused of soliciting sex acts from elementary school children is competent to stand trial.

However, attorneys on both sides say it’s likely they’ll reach a plea agreement before the case ever goes to trial.

Shortly after charges were filed last month, defense attorney Christopher Joseph had requested the competency evaluation for his client. During a hearing Friday in Leavenworth County District Court, results of the testing showed the defendant was mentally fit for trial. Neither the defense nor prosecutors objected to the finding.

The defendant was arrested June 19 and charged with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and two counts of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child. Basehor Police Chief Lloyd Martley said the police department conducted an investigation prior to the man’s arrest, and during one interview, he admitted to the accusations.

The defendant is free on a $50,000 bond.

Relatives of the two alleged victims petitioned for the bond to be raised from $50,000 to $100,000 because of the severity of the crimes and the defendant’s residential proximity to the children. Prosecuting attorney Cheryl Marquardt and Leavenworth County District Attorney Todd Thompson argued on behalf of the family members but were not successful.

“I think it’s ridiculous that he’s out running free,” the mother of one of the alleged victims said. “We can still see him every day at the store or around town. He admitted the charges, and he’s still out. That just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Joseph requested a status hearing to be scheduled 60 days from Friday because he had not yet received all discovered evidence against his client and would need time to review this evidence once it was in his possession.

The defendant will reappear in court for another status hearing at 9 a.m. Sept. 10.

Joseph said a preliminary hearing likely would be waived. Both Joseph and Marquardt expressed their favor of a plea agreement because it would eliminate the possibility of the children having to testify.

It is the Sentinel and Chieftain’s policy to not provide names involved in sexual cases until a person has been convicted.

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