A judge on Wednesday denied a lower bond for a former Sedgwick County Jail deputy charged with multiple sex crimes against inmates.
The decision by District Court Judge Jeff Syrios to retain a $500,000 bond for David E. Kendall came after Kendalls attorney, Chris OHara, challenged the credibility of the alleged victims. OHara said the alleged victims have been charged with or convicted of serious crimes themselves and could be motivated by potential monetary gain.
The charges against Kendall involve six alleged victims and incidents that span more than a two-month period, court records show. Kendall, 21, faces 12 charges 11 of them relating to alleged sex crimes. The crimes reportedly occurred between April and June.
Kendall had been placed on unpaid suspension pending the outcome of the criminal case but through his attorney submitted his resignation, which was accepted, Sheriff Robert Hinshaw said Wednesday.
In his ruling, Syrios noted that considerations in setting any bond are assuring the appearance of the accused and protecting the public. The judge cited the number of alleged victims and the nature of the charges and said that Kendalls position was unique, that he had law enforcement training and that the alleged victims didnt have the freedom to protect themselves.
OHara had argued that $500,000 was an unreasonably high bond, that it should be $100,000. He said Kendall had no criminal history, has local family ties and is not at risk of fleeing. He said Kendall was compliant when he was previously released on a lower bond, and that if he was going to run, he was probably going to run at that time. OHara said Kendall posed no danger to the community.
In arguing that the bond remain at $500,000, Assistant District Attorney Donna Longsworth said that Kendall posed a danger to community, that he allegedly used his position in the jail to find victims and that he had the ability to get personal information and knew a lot about the alleged victims.
Arguments over the credibility of the alleged victims will be taken up at later hearings, and now isnt the appropriate time, Longsworth said.
OHara repeatedly attacked the credibility of the accusers, saying they are inmates in desperate situations and that some of them have been accused or convicted of serious crimes including kidnapping and rape.
OHara contended there is conflicting evidence in one of charges, aggravated criminal sodomy, where allegations made by one of the alleged victims may not be true in the way that he framed them. The alleged victim reportedly told others that the case was going to be his get-out-of-jail-free card, and any acts, if in fact they were done, may have been consensual, OHara said.
According to witnesses, some of the allegations stem from monetary motivation, OHara said, adding that inmates had been communicating about contacting attorneys.
Later, Kurt Kerns, one of the attorneys representing inmates who say they were victims, said of OHaras comments: Its clear hes simply attacking the victims.
Until he (OHara) can come up with an explanation of how his clients semen and DNA found its way onto the inmates, Kerns said, I really cant give his clients claims much credence.
Theres no such thing as consensual sex between a guard and an inmate because theres implicit coercion. The law prohibits it for good reason.
Kendalls preliminary hearing has been continued to Aug. 2. He is being held in a jail outside Sedgwick County.