Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Former mayor given one-year probation team

July 18, 2001

The former mayor of Basehor, who was sentenced last week to a year's probation, vows he's ready to fight to clear his name.

John Pfannenstiel, 41, was sentenced to three concurrent six-month prison terms, and then placed on probation.

Pfannenstiel was convicted March 23 in Leavenworth County District Court of three counts of having sexual relations with inmates while he was a corrections officer at the Lansing Correctional Facility.

He was acquitted of a charge of bringing contraband into a correctional facility.

"The prison officials and the county prosecutors have taken their best shot at me," Pfannenstiel said after his sentencing hearing. "I'm a little bruised, but still standing. Now I get to start swinging back."

Pfannenstiel and his attorney said they soon would file a notice of appeal with the Kansas Court of Appeals in Topeka.

"It will happen very soon after the journal entry is recorded," said Terry Lober, Pfannenstiel's attorney.

Roger Marrs, deputy county attorney, had asked Judge Frederick Stewart to impose consecutive sentences, but the judge ordered that the sentences run concurrent to one another.

Lober said Marrs' request was meaningless because the probation term would still be a year. He said it was an attempt to antagonize Pfannenstiel.

Marrs disagreed.

"The state did request the court to run the sentences consecutive," Marrs said. "The request was based upon the criminal activity that Mr. Pfannenstiel was convicted of committing. There is nothing out of the ordinary in requesting consecutive sentences when multiple victims are involved or when criminal conduct occurs over a range of several months. The request may have aggravated the defendant, but that was not the purpose of making the request.

"The term of probation does remain the same regardless of the underlying sentence."

Marrs also had considered seeking a longer sentence for Pfannenstiel, but abandoned that idea after reviewing a state supreme court case that would have not allowed a longer sentence.

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