Crime & Courts

Mention of former police officer prohibited from sex-crimes trial

Any mention of a Wichita police officer who was the subject of a police and alleged FBI investigation will be prohibited during a sex-crimes trial that begins next week.

Sedgwick County District Judge Kevin O’Connor granted the motion, which was filed by prosecutors on Monday. It mentions Tiffany Dahlquist, who recently resigned from the Police Department over how an internal investigation regarding a possible hit-and-run was handled.

At the motions hearing Friday morning, Assistant District Attorney Alice Osburn told O’Connor that Dahlquist’s involvement into the investigation of Jordan Lewis was limited to her driving an alleged victim from one place to another.

“The state isn’t calling her (to testify),” Osburn said.

She argued because of that, any mention of Dahlquist, the police investigation, an alleged FBI investigation, her hiring and firing from the department, or articles published by The Eagle about an alleged cover-up by police is irrelevant.

“I don’t think there’s reason to argue she shouldn’t be believed,” defense attorney Mark Schoenhofer agreed. “That’s not my intent, but I wanted to find out first of all whether she was going to be called (to testify). If she was, it’s fair game to ask about her acts of dishonesty. I don’t intend to go that way if the state isn’t going to call Officer Dahlquist.”

In the sex-crimes case, Dahlquist had been listed as a potential witness in charges against 40-year-old Lewis. Not all witnesses are called to testify at trial.

Lewis faces 13 charges: two counts of aggravated human trafficking, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of rape, three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, one count of criminal sodomy and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Dahlquist’s attorney has said she was wrongly suspected of being in a hit-and-run accident last year. A Wichita police detective testified in a separate lawsuit that his supervisors covered up misconduct by an off-duty officer suspected of driving drunk in a hit-and-run accident in September 2016. The testimony didn’t identify Dahlquist by name, but circumstances described matched the incident for which Dahlquist was investigated.

Private investigator Colin Gallagher said law enforcement sources have told him that the FBI is investigating the Wichita Police Department’s investigation of Dahlquist.

Wichita Police Department spokesman Charley Davidson read a statement Friday in response to a Wichita Eagle / Kansas.com story about an alleged cover-up involving an off-duty Wichita police officer and a hit-and-run. (Oct. 13, 2017)

Robert Layton, Wichita city manager, spoke Monday at the Wichita Police Department media briefing. (Oct. 16, 2017)

Nichole Manna: 316-269-6752, @NicholeManna

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