Archive for Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tonganoxie teen placed on probation in battery case

September 3, 2011

An 18-year-old Tonganoxie man has been placed on supervised probation and cannot have unsupervised contact with females who are minors, a Leavenworth County District Court Judge ruled Friday in Leavenworth.

Judge Michael Gibbens ruled that Nick M. Pursel be placed under those conditions in the sexual battery case involving Pursel and a Tonganoxie female, but delayed a decision on whether Pursel would be registered as a sex offender. Pursel gave a no-contest plea earlier this summer.

When the incident occurred nearly a year ago, both were Tonganoxie High School students and both were under the age of 18. Because of this, the Leavenworth County attorney’s office has released little information on the case.

Both the parents of the victim, as well as Pursel, had opportunities to speak during Friday’s sentencing.

The parents of the victim said that their family members’ lives have changed dramatically during the past year. Her mother said their family had left the church they were attending because Pursel’s family also attended the church. In addition, her daughter had attended Tonganoxie schools since preschool and has since transferred out because of the incident.

Pursel apologized to his former classmate and her family and then explained that he’s regularly been seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist and has had his medication adjusted. He’s also joined the church youth group and attends Sex Addicts Anonymous sessions.

Gibbens instructed both the prosecution and defense to submit briefs by Sept. 30 to make their cases whether Pursel should be registered as a sex offender. Gibbens then will make a determination at a date to be determined.

Asked Friday whether Pursel currently was a student at Tonganoxie High School, USD 464 Superintendent Randy Weseman said, “I can confirm that he has been a student and currently exists in our student database.”

He declined to comment further.

Comments

JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

Please, someone clarify for the rest of us: please tell me a student was not convicted of sexual battery and then returned to school? A convicted sexual offender in the classrooms of THS?

Please, tell me I read this wrong.

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elite808 2 years, 7 months ago

Nick Pursel is a good kid. Bad things happen to Good people.

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faith77 2 years, 7 months ago

Like you know everything that he did in the past!!

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etanking034 2 years, 7 months ago

Yes the student is on probation and only served 10 days suspension and was never to have contact with other female students but that didn't happen. they had to take my Granddaugher out of school and send her to another school. It just ruined two years of the best time of her life. (Junior and Senior years in school) This happened Sept. 10th 2011 in school.

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etanking034 2 years, 7 months ago

etanking034 (anonymous) says…

Yes the student is on probation and only served 10 days suspension and was never to have contact with other female students but that didn't happen. they had to take my Granddaughter out of school and send her to another school. It just ruined two years of the best time of her life. (Junior and Senior years in school) This happened Sept. 8th 2011 in school. September 4, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.

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etanking034 2 years, 7 months ago

etanking034 (anonymous) says…

Yes the student is on probation and only served 10 days suspension and was never to have contact with other female students but that didn't happen. they had to take my Granddaughter out of school and send her to another school. It just ruined two years of the best time of her life. (Junior and Senior years in school) This happened Sept. 8th 2011 in school. September 4, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.

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etanking034 2 years, 7 months ago

etanking034 (anonymous) says…

Yes the student is on probation and only served 10 days suspension and was never to have contact with other female students but that didn't happen. they had to take my Granddaughter out of school and send her to another school. It just ruined two years of the best time of her life. (Junior and Senior years in school) This happened Sept. 8th 2011 in school. September 4, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.

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kanfarmer 2 years, 7 months ago

10 day suspension, what a joke. A nother example of, if your in sports you can do what ever you want and just get a slap on the wrist. Elite808. this is not the first time hes did a "badthing". and no hes not a good kid. Ask him how many times this has happened before.

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bargainshopper 2 years, 7 months ago

elite808 is also the person that says Mark Elston is a good person! It is time our school takes a stand and quits punishing the victims! The victim in this case doesn't feel safe to attend the school she has always attended, just because we allowed this "athlete" to attend our school because he was in trouble at another school. Then we have school administators that take him under their wing and say "he is a good kid"!! I would like to know what if he did this to your daughter? People who do bad things don't always tell the truth.

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elite808 2 years, 7 months ago

why are you such a judgemental jerk?

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bargainshopper 2 years, 7 months ago

Judgemental jerk? Really? Our fine Tonganoxie High School has a history of protecting the bullies and punishing the victims. It all depends who you are. For you to say this boy is a good kid, is being judgemental, and by your comment to me it sounds like you are a bully.

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elite808 2 years, 7 months ago

Your right, it all depends who you are. :)

but how am I a bully? For standing up for what I believe in? Your a IMMATURE BULLY. You have NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT GOES ON IN OUR HIGH SCHOOL.

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gtanking 2 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately, I think it's the administation and school board that has not idea what is going on. Or perhaps, they know but fail to act when needed as in the case with Pursel.

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Old_Vet 2 years, 7 months ago

Etanking is one of the most reviled bullies in town. How many organizations have asked you to leave? If anyone knows bullying its etanking034, one of the most disliked persons in Tonganoxie and the surrounding area.

My grandsons know both involved in this incident. From what I understand the young man moved to the district. That would mean the district had no choice but to enroll him. I wonder if our good reporter could email the state board of education and ascertain the facts on enrollment and what is mandated by law. Might clarify a few questions left in the article. Was the district required by state law to enroll the boy? Is the district required by state law to keep the boy enrolled?

I've been here for decades, my kids graduated from THS and my grandkids are graduating. It's a good district. Athletics have always been a sensitive issue in this community. I have never thought that athletes get a pass when it comes to discipline at THS. To imply otherwise is silly and dishonest.

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

Old_Vet: Do you really think a state law could mandate that a district keep a convicted sex offender in the high school with other students? Really?

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Old_Vet 2 years, 7 months ago

Let me google it and check with the Dept of Ed web site. I hate doing homework for others. The author of this article should have done some of this background research.

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Old_Vet 2 years, 7 months ago

In Montoy vs Kansas "More recently, the Kansas Supreme Court stated, “[t]he ultimate State purpose in offering a system of public schools is to provide an environment where quality education can be afforded to all.” Provance v. Shawnee Mission U.S.D. No. 512, 231 Kan. 636, 643 (1982). In a similar vein, the Kansas Supreme Court has also held “[t]he general theory of our educational system is that every child in the state, without regard to race, creed, or wealth shall have the facilities for a free education.” (Emphasis added). State v. Smith, 155 Kan. 588, 595 (1942)."

US Supreme Court has ruled in Gose vs Lopez that the right to access for public education is protected under due process. In summary the value of a public education is equivelent to property and protected under the US Constitution due process clause.

Until the young man is convicted as a sex offender he has the full protection of due process and right to attend high school. If you google Gose vs Lopez and read the summary on the UMKC Law page it is clear that school districts are required to honor the due process clause.

The young man above has pleaded guilty to sexual battery but was not convicted as a sex offender. The judge has yet to make that determination. To me it looks like the THS Principle's hands are tied on what he can do to facilitate your requirement. Should the school district violate the young man's constitutional rights and risk another expensive lawsuit? Or should they put in place prudent safeguards until the matter is fully resolved and due process is allowed to run its course.

I'm not a lawyer, but in 30 minutes on google it is pretty clear to me that the "offender" is being given his due process. The article didn't say if the young man was currently in attendance, however, if he is, he should be asked to transfer to a virtual program thus meeting all the requirements in our state laws to provide education to "all".

Does THS have a virtual program he could attend?

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thetruth 2 years, 7 months ago

It sounds like you have alot of time on your hands to undermind the work of others. I hear Wal-mart is always looking for new greeters. You might want to try it.

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gtanking 2 years, 7 months ago

You speak of Pursel's constitutional rights. Really? How about the rights of my daughter to be able to attend school in a safe environment without the fear of being attacked by another classmate. He may have had the right to an education but at one point does that end? After being removed from not one or two schools in LV county but there are so many you can't count them on one hand. You spoke of him living in the district so they had to admit him to THS. Does it count when you live in another town but rent property during the school year in Tongie just because it is the one place that hasn't kicked him out yet? It is also amazing to me how he was admitted to THS in 2010 when he came from a sexual rehab school in Utah. Does THS not require transcripts from a students previous school? Especially when a school recommends for the student not to be placed in a school with other females (just a little homework I've done for you). You see when someone hurts your child like Pursel has done to mine, you find out everything you can and you talk to everyone who has known him. I am disgusted that his parents continued to take him from district to district knowing that he had a sexual addiction and that any female could be at risk. In my opinion, they have failed their son miserably!

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bargainshopper 2 years, 7 months ago

Seriously? Etanking is just stating what happened to his granddaughter. My thoughts and prayers are with the Tanking family.

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

Actually, he was already given due process. Police conducted an investigation, the results were handed over to Pursel's attorney, charges were filed with the Court, a Judge read the charges against him, and under the advice of an attorney, Pursel offered a plea rather than requesting a trial. Pursel has already been afforded due process.

The only determination the judge has left is whether the guy will have to report as a sexual offender -- that is independent of the finding of guilt. The court already accepted the plea and thus he has already been convicted of the charge -- found guilty by the court.

The fact that the district won't expel a student following a CONVICTION for sexual battery is absolutely stunning to me.

Stunning.

Anyone with a child in this school district should be absolutely disgusted by the actions of this district.

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Old_Vet 2 years, 7 months ago

The conviction was how many days ago? You're challenged aren't you? Too much drywall dust apparently. Has the board met since the conviction?

You stated he was a convicted sex offender. That was inaccurate and will not be decided until 30 September. I am not defending the kid, I am not defending the board, I am defending the process from uneducated rubes like you that would lynch a kid without all the facts. Your inability to comprehend the issue here is scary and disappointing. Show some citizenship and let our constitution and laws work.

If you are a product of THS then I to am disgusted with the district.

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

First: It doesn't matter how many days it is since the conviction: the board can meet on a moment's notice for an emergency issue.

Second: He is a convicted sex offender. The offense was sexual battery. He was convicted. Thus, he is a convicted sex offender. The only issue left is whether he'll have to REPORT to the state as a sex offender, not whether he is or is not one. He is. He was judged guilty by the court.

The constitution and our laws did work - they convicted him. Of a sex offense.

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thetruth 2 years, 7 months ago

Old-Vet seems to have some pretty strong opinions with some of the blogges which he needs to take care of at another place in time. Just for the record though, you noticed in his previous post that he spoke of his grandsons attending THS. I am sure his opinion would be much different regarding this issue if he had girls for grandchildren and if God forbid, one of them be involved in a sexual battery case. Unfortunatley, for this victim the justice system has worked very slowly. Pursel was actually convicted of sexual battery in the Spring but the sentencing just took place on September 2nd. Sadly this is within a few days of being a year from the actual incident. Even after the conviction Pursel continued to attend THS. It wasn't until after the sentencing last Friday he was finally removed. Thank God someone had the intelligence to remove him from school. I am hoping this was the decision of our new or temporary superintendent. If that's the case he's a keeper. We all know that neither the previous superintendent, current principal or school board had the smarts or balls to do this when the situation presented itself (thanks Lawrence school system for taking one of them off our hands. We have more if you need them)! Several bloggers have called this a witch hunt or lynching of a young boy. These people are either blind to justice or just too ignorant to gather the facts. I had to chuckle when I read the comment that Pursel is a good kid and "bad things happen to good people". How ironic, I am sure that is what the victims parents have been telling her for the last year.

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littleshop92 2 years, 7 months ago

Miss. Tanking is one of my very, very good friends and I have attended Tonganoxie with her since second grade. She is a fairly shy girl who in all honesty I think would just rather have this whole ordeal go away. Unfortunately she was “indirectly” bullied out of school by Nick and felt more comfortable at another school. I think it is too bad that all of this had to happen. I know this situation with Nick put the Tankings thru hell and back this past year and I hope that time will help heal the bitter felt by both parties. However time can’t fix missing some of the best years of your life. I hope Nick gets help. It was really hard seeing someone I grew up with suffer with this situation not ever really knowing what the next move was. I know none of us know all of the facts but let’s all try to stay civil and not make rude, unnecessary, hurtful comments(i.e.: peoples occupations and OQ levels) on a situation we all never witnessed. None of us know BOTH Nick and Madison personally, maybe one or the other but not both, so let’s try to keep an open mind and discuss this like ADULTS. Oh Tanking family if your reading this I love you all and I will always be there for you. xxx

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KCTea 2 years, 7 months ago

Just so everyone knows Nick had ISS all year last year after it had happen, so no Tonganoxie didn't allow Nick to walk the halls. And maybe this thought hasn't occured to you guys, but maybe she was lying???

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Old_Vet 2 years, 7 months ago

It is possible, however it is doubtful. He was wrong and the system has finally found him guilty. It is time he take responsibility for his actions. It is unfortunate what happened to the young lady. I had heard that her story had changed a couple of times but that is understandable with a young lady under stress.

The Tankings unfortunately will have to deal with this. Now they'll understand the effects bullying has on the victim and their familiy. I recall 20 years ago I was a member of the VFW. It wasn't until about 10 years ago that I quit because of the bullying and foul temperment of the patriarch of their clan. Myself and three other families stopped attending Mass at Sacred Heart because of etanking034. Just as soon go to KCK to avoid the hostility. I will light a candle for the young lady and the boy. They both need our prayers.

Galatians 6: 7-8

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thetruth 2 years, 7 months ago

I would like to know just exactly what you consider ISS to be? Pursel was allowed to attend weight training class and often participated in gym class (kinda hard to do that when you are secluded in a classroom by yourself). He was also allowed to pass in the hall between these classes and wonder around in the parking lot before and after school. Yes, I know this to be true as I make frequent visits to this school. If you find this to be surprising you may want to talk to administration since there were other complaints made about his behavior towards other females. Secondly, if a student was in ISS do you think they would be allowed to participate in a sport? Well Pursel was allowed to go out for wrestling and did so until he was found guilty of the sexual battery at which time he was finally released from the team. As for lying, are you kidding me? We are not talking about an alter boy here. He has had multiple charges against him in the last several years from a multitude of girls, were those lies too? Leavenworth County is way too familar with this kid and the trouble that seems to follow him. I really wish that people would place the blame on the right party. THS screwed up by letting him into school in the first place. Either becaue they didn't pay attention to his transcripts and the recommendations or maybe someone thought they could fix him. They screwed up again by allowing him to return to school after only a 10 day suspension. I am aware that placing blame now on mistakes made a year ago will not benefit the victim. My only hope now is that he be placed on the sexual offenders list so that this doesn't happen at the next school his parents put him in.

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KCTea 2 years, 4 months ago

You wrote too much for me to care to read. I stopped after the "He was also allowed to pass in the hall between these classes" because he wasn't. You don't know what you're talking about.

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