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Feb. 17, 201110:46 a.m.
Sept. 24, 20092:20 p.m.
People often look at plea bargains as a deal given to the defendant. But it also helps those harmed by crimes. Prosecutor Marc Bennett said that’s an ultimate goal in cases such as the sex abuse and attempted murder plea of Chris Newberry.
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Jan. 23, 20091:30 p.m.
A 48-year-old Wichita woman is accused of prostituting her 5-year-old daughter, but prosecutors say it wasn’t the first time.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston is seeking a judge’s permission to introduce testimony from two of the woman’s grown daughters, who said she sold them for sex when they were between the ages of 8 and 14.
Judge Greg Waller will hear evidence this afternoon, under a law that allows information about prior bad acts if it serves to show a pattern of behavior relevant to the crime charged.
The woman is charged along with the man who prosecutors say paid for sex with the 5-year-old on several occasions . After the case of the girl came to light with state social services and police, the older daughters came forward and told what happened to them. According to court records, they’ve said their mother began selling them for sex “to put food on the table” while she worked as an exotic dancer in the early 1990s.
This morning, Waller denied a request by the couple’s defense to exclude news reporters from the trial, which is set for March.
Jan. 21, 20094:38 p.m.
A 73-year-old Wichita school bus driver has been charged with fondling a 6-year-old girl.
Billy J. Reynolds made his first appearance Tuesday morning to hear charges against him on four counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Prosecutors say he engaged in lewd touching of the girl from October until his arrest Jan. 6.
Susan Arensman, spokeswoman for Wichita Public Schools, said the girl’s parent reported the acts to the principal at Emerson Open Magnet Elementary, who called the Wichita-Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit. Arensman said Reynolds, employed privately by Durham School Services, was fired the day after the district received the complaint. He had driven a bus for 16 years.
Reynolds’ preliminary hearing is tentatively set for Feb. 3.
April 1, 20086:41 p.m.
A man who claimed he went to a school to pick up a 14-year-old girl for sex after she mentally communicated with him won’t be standing trial. Jesus Gallardo-Gonzalez has been found mentally incompetent.
This may not surprise people who read our post in January about his claim of telepathic communications. But it’s a surprise to his lawyer, because it’s rare for a defendant to be found mentally incompetent.
“It’s the first one I’ve had,” said public defender Pam McLemore.
Gallardo-Gonzalez was admitted to a mental hospital for treatment.
Jan. 22, 20084:45 p.m.
Turns out the man accused of trying to pick up a 14-year-old girl from school last month for sex also claimed to be carrying on psychic conversations with the teenager.
The girl told school officials she’d never seen Jesus Gallardo-Gonzalez before. But the 36-year-old man told police the girl had spoken to him through telepathy. He said she’d sent him a mental message to pick her up from Curtis Middle School and “had shared problems in her life with him while communicating psychically,” according to a police report.
His case is on hold pending a mental competency evaluation.