Lawrence man faces judge today
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for this afternoon for a Lawrence man accused of molesting three area youths.
The 33-year-old man, who had been a volunteer who worked with youth at Tonganoxie United Methodist Church, is scheduled to appear before Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone. At the conclusion of the 2 p.m. hearing, the judge is expected to rule whether enough evidence exists to order the man to stand trial on the 11 felony charges that Douglas County authorities have lodged against him.
The alleged offenses against the male youths occurred in Lawrence between February 1997 and October 2000, according to police there.
The Douglas County district attorney office has charged the man with eight counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child; two counts of criminal sodomy; and one count of aggravated sexual battery.
In a hearing last Wednesday, Malone appointed Lawrence attorney Sally Howard to represent the man.
"She is very diligent, and she'll be out to visit with you unless you make bond," Malone said.
The man remained in Douglas County Jail on Tuesday, in lieu of $35,000 cash or surety bond.
Although Lawrence police said they have turned over information about the man to Leavenworth County authorities, Major Dave Zoellner of the Leavenworth County sheriff's office said his office has not launched an investigation.
"If there were some victims in Leavenworth County and we were contacted, we would investigate it," Zoellner said. "If and when that would happen, I wouldn't discuss it because that would be a criminal investigation. At this time, we're not investigating anything pertaining to that case."
The Mirror generally does not name suspects in sex crimes unless they have been convicted.