Crime & Courts

Former Joyland employee pleads no contest in Louie the Clown case

Former Joyland employee Damian Mayes holds a picture of Louie in 2008. (File photo)
Former Joyland employee Damian Mayes holds a picture of Louie in 2008. (File photo) File photo

The sex offender accused of stealing Joyland Amusement Park’s iconic clown has pleaded no contest to one consolidated felony count of theft, according to a news release from the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

Damian Mayes, 41, pleaded no contest on Friday before District Court Judge Harold Flaigle. Mayes’ trial was scheduled to begin on Monday.

Last year, police found Louie the Clown – and other Joyland items – during a search of Mayes’ home north of Hydraulic and Kellogg. The clown disappeared from Joyland sometime in 2005 or 2006 and was officially reported stolen in 2010.

Wichita police Sgt. Matthew Lang describes finding the iconic Joyland character Louie the clown while searching a house in February 2015. Lang was testifying in the preliminary hearing of Damian Mayes, who is accused of stealing Louie and other Jo

Mayes was a former employee of Joyland who renovated and repaired the Wurlitzer organ that Louie played for more than half a century at the park.

A Harvey County jury convicted Mayes in 2010 of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated criminal sodomy. Mayes is serving his sentence at the Norton Correctional Facility and is not eligible for parole until 2028, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.

District Court Judge Kevin O’Connor is scheduled to sentence Mayes on the theft charge on Dec. 13.

The carousel that was an iconic fixture of the Joyland amusement park will have a new home at Botanica. (Oct. 16, 2015)

Gabriella Dunn: 316-268-6400, @gabriella_dunn

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