Two more Sedgwick County Jail inmates testified Tuesday that a former detention deputy made sexual advances toward them while they were in custody, bringing to six the number who have said they were sexually abused at the jail.
But as prosecutors continued to build their case against David Kendall, defense lawyers on Tuesday added a new twist to the case.
They suggested that one of the six inmates staged a rape in his cell hoping it would help his criminal case. The other inmates, defense lawyers suggested, joined in with their own stories of sexual abuse in the hopes that they would receive a share of millions of dollars in compensation that might be at stake. Four of the inmates have filed claims against Sedgwick County seeking more than $20 million.
Kendall, 23, is facing a preliminary hearing this week on 11 charges ranging from aggravated sodomy to misdemeanor sexual battery. Authorities have said the crimes occurred between April and June 2012. Kendall resigned from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office after the sex allegations arose.
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It was a 26-year-old inmate who spent more than two hours on the stand Tuesday who suggested that the jailhouse scandal may have grown out of a staged incident. He said the 34-year-old inmate involved in that incident had been having consensual sex with Kendall long before June 3, 2012 – the day he said he was raped by Kendall.
The 34-year-old inmate, a former Crip gang member, testified Monday that Kendall entered his cell on the night of June 3, cuffed his hands behind his back, pressed what he said was a Taser against his back and raped him. After Kendall left the cell, the former gang member testified, he began kicking and screaming to let the other guards know that he’d been raped. He was taken to a hospital and examined by a rape nurse.
The 26-year-old inmate said that several weeks before the June 3 attack, the former gang member told him about a “skit” that involved him being raped by Kendall.
“He was hoping that if he made up this story about a rape that he would get out of jail,” the inmate testified.
The 26-year-old inmate, who is being held on burglary and theft charges, also testified that Kendall propositioned him in April 2012, an act that resulted in Kendall being charged with criminal solicitation to commit unlawful sexual relations. The inmate said lawyers filed a claim on his behalf for $1 million. He said his contract with the lawyers calls for them to collect 45 percent of any damages he receives from the county.
The hearing will continue Wednesday in the courtroom of District Judge Joseph Bribiesca.