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Judge refuses to dismiss last charge against former Garden Plain coach

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, May 3, 2013, at 6:45 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, August 30, 2013, at 7:31 a.m.

A judge on Friday refused to dismiss the remaining charge against former Garden Plain football coach Todd Puetz, who was acquitted by a jury last month of two of three counts filed against him after he was caught in an October 2011 police sting operation that targeted men willing to pay to have sex with underage girls.

A Sedgwick County jury found Puetz not guilty of attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child and attempted criminal sodomy. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a third count of electronic solicitation of a child under 16.

The state’s case against Puetz was built around a series of recorded phone calls between Puetz and an undercover police detective posing as a 15-year-old prostitute. Puetz testified that he innocently called the number looking for a massage after seeing an ad on an Internet website.

District Judge Ben Burgess denied a motion filed by defense lawyer Dan Monnat to dismiss the final charge. Monnat argued, in part, that there was insufficient evidence at the trial to sustain a conviction. Puetz’s retrial is scheduled to begin June 24.

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