Archive for Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Judge delays action in sex predator case

County argues against allowing Leroy Hendricks to move to home west of Linwood

July 13, 2005

A decision could come within a week on whether sexual predator Leroy Hendricks is allowed to live in a group home in southwest Leavenworth County.

During a two-hour hearing Tuesday, Leavenworth County District Judge David King heard arguments over housing the 70-year-old Hendricks in a group home on Golden Road about five miles west of Linwood.

King made no rulings Tuesday. A temporary order keeping Hendricks out of the home remains in effect.

Leavenworth County commissioners received a temporary restraining order last month after alleging the group home violated zoning laws. The purpose of Tuesday's hearing was to determine whether it should become a permanent injunction keeping the home from operating.

Much of the hearing centered on testimony of witnesses called by an attorney representing Lawrence-based Community Provisional Living, the agency that has a contract with the State's Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to house Hendricks. The witnesses described Hendricks' deteriorating physical health, the treatment he has undergone during a decade-long stay at Larned State Hospital, and the round-the-clock supervision he would receive, if allowed to move to Leavenworth County.

Austin DesLauriers, a psychologist at Larned who has overseen some of Hendricks' treatment, testified he didn't think Hendricks would be at risk for re-offending while living in the group home.

"It's a structured, supervised program that in my view will not permit that to occur," he said.

Rick Whitson, Community Provisional Living's director, said that Hendricks would not be allowed to leave the home without supervision.

"Even if he steps out onto the patio or porch, someone needs to be with him," Whitson said.

But county counselor David Van Parys, speaking on behalf of the county commission, argued against allowing the group home to operate. He repeatedly pointed out that Hendricks poses some danger, otherwise he wouldn't need to be supervised.

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