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Inmates testify about sexual abuse at hearing of former Sedgwick County deputy

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, August 19, 2013, at 10:07 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, May 12, 2014, at 11:22 a.m.

Two Sedgwick County Jail inmates testified Monday that they were raped by former detention Deputy David Kendall while they were being held in the jail last year. Two others said they successfully rejected Kendall’s sexual advances while they were in custody.

Defense lawyers for Kendall suggested at his hearing that the inmates are less interested in seeing that justice is served than they are in collecting large cash settlements from the county. A claim for $10 million has been made on behalf of two of the inmates.

Defense lawyer Charlie O’Hara questioned the allegations of a 34-year-old former Crip gang member, who at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds is 5 inches taller and 40 pounds heavier than Kendall.

“Your testimony is that you’re an ex-Crip and that Deputy Kendall was able to shove you down and rape you?” O’Hara asked at one point.

“Yes. I was in handcuffs,” the inmate said.

“You’re excited about getting $10 million, aren’t you?” O’Hara asked.

“Who wouldn’t be?” the inmate replied. “I’ve got to get some kind of justice.

“I was forcibly raped and sodomized by a detention deputy. I have issues. It’s something I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life.”

The testimony came during the first day of Kendall’s preliminary hearing on 11 charges ranging from aggravated sodomy to misdemeanor sexual battery. Authorities have said the crimes occurred between April and June 2012. Kendall, 23, resigned from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office after the sex allegations arose.

The state’s first witness, who is 25 and awaiting sentencing on rape, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary charges, said Kendall made physical and verbal sexual advances toward him twice before showing up in his cell on the night of April 15, 2012.

“He grabbed my arm, slammed me on the bed, got behind me and held me down,” the inmate testified.

“What happened next?” prosecutor C.J. Rieg asked.

“He raped me,” the inmate said.

“And how did he do that?” Rieg asked.

“Forcefully,” the inmate said.

The inmate said Kendall began directing advances toward him earlier that month when he told him “you’re looking good out there” as he was leaving the gym. The next night, the inmate said, Kendall showed up in his cell, told him to get against the wall and patted him down. The inmate said Kendall placed his hands inside his boxer shorts during the patdown. He said Kendall told him, “I don’t have time tonight, but I’ll be back.”

The inmate said Kendall showed up again the next night and raped him. When it was over, the inmate said, Kendall asked him about his pending criminal charges.

“He said, ‘If you tell anybody, I’ll make sure you’ll get new charges. Who are they going to believe, me or an inmate?’ ” the inmate testified. “I said, ‘I’m not going to tell anybody; just get out of my cell.’ ”

The inmate said he saw in the news a few weeks later that Kendall had been accused of raping another inmate. That’s when he contacted the lawyer who was representing the other inmate.

The former Crip gang member, who is serving time on federal drug charges, said he heard that Kendall was gay and had done sexual favors for inmates before he encountered Kendall on the night of June 3, 2012, in his cell.

“He said I need to cuff up and come to the watch commander’s office,” the inmate said.

After his hands were cuffed behind his back, he said, Kendall pressed something metal against his back.

“He pushed me face down on the bunk and said, ‘I have a Taser. Don’t scream or I’ll Tase you.’

“I froze up. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t believe what was happening. … It felt like it lasted forever, but in actuality, in about a minute it was done.”

When it was over, he said, Kendall left the cell and slammed the door. The inmate said he became hysterical and began kicking the door. After he told a jail sergeant what had just happened, he said, he was taken to a hospital and examined.

Also testifying Monday was a 27-year-old inmate who said Kendall kissed him on the lips in his cell one day and a 26-year-old former inmate who said Kendall approached him one day and offered to give him cigarettes if he would allow Kendall to perform oral sex on him.

The hearing is scheduled to continue Tuesday in the courtroom of District Judge Joseph Bribiesca.

Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or hlaviana@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @hlaviana.

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