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Kansas Victims

Posted on Mon, Mar. 10, 2008

Father arrested after injuries found on son

A 24-year-old man was arrested Saturday on a charge of child abuse after his 1-year-old son was taken to the hospital with a -inch cut on his genitals, said Sgt. Bart Brunscheen, from the Patrol East Bureau.

The incident was reported around 1 p.m. when officials at Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus called Wichita police.

When police arrived, the boy was in the emergency room, Brunscheen said. He was later admitted.

The boy as well as his sister were taken into protective custody. Police are still investigating, Brunscheen said.

Icess Fernandez

 

Rest in Peace
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Risha Lafferty

Father gets life for murdering infant

By Mike Belt

Thursday, January 4, 2007

A Lawrence man convicted in November of killing his infant daughter was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday by a Douglas County District Court judge.

Jay D. Decker, 27, decliniedto make a statement, an opportunity that was offered by Judge Paula Martin before she passed sentence.

In November, a jury found Decker guilty of first-degree murder. Evidence presented in a trial showed that 5-month-old Risha Lafferty died Oct. 14, 2005, from a skull fracture and there were signs of being shaken.

Lafferty’s mother, Brandi Mae Hendrickson, also is in jail for failing to protect her daughter from abuse. In December, Martin ordered Hendrickson to spend 60 days in jail. She will then be released on parole. During her stay in jail she will be released for work and to attend parenting classes to try to regain custody of an older, preschool-aged daughter.

Jay Decker was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday in Douglas County court for killing his 5-month-old daughter, Risha Lafferty. Decker will be eligible for parole after serving 20 years.

Hendrickson was initially charged with felony child endangerment but ended up pleading to a misdemeanor as part of a deal to testify against Decker.

Rest in Peace
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Sam, 7, and Lindsey, 8,

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) -- The father of two children whose remains were found in a shallow grave more than three years after they disappeared confessed publicly and was charged Tuesday in their shootings.Dan Porter is swarmed by reporters Tuesday as he is taken back to jail in Independence, Missouri.

Dan Porter, 44, is already serving a 38-year prison term for kidnapping his son, Sam, 7, and daughter, Lindsey, 8, in order to terrorize their mother.

He was charged Tuesday with two counts of first-degree murder.

Speaking to reporters after a brief court appearance, Porter admitted he killed his children, apologized and said he thinks about them all the time.

"I can't get them out of my mind," he said as he was escorted from the courtroom to a sheriff's van.

The children's bones were found in September in a wooded area near the Missouri River in nearby Sugar Creek and were identified using dental records. The children had been missing since Porter picked them up at their mother's house for a weekend visit in the summer of 2004.

Porter offered no explanation for shooting his son and daughter.

"Could any man come up with an excuse for that? Is there such an excuse?" he asked.

According to the probable cause statement filed with the charges, Porter told investigators that he had planned to kill his children for at least a day before he picked them up from his estranged wife, Tina Porter; the couple have since divorced.

Jackson County prosecutor Jim Kanatzar said before the hearing that the children were killed with a handgun, but he did not provide additional details. He said he would decide within the next month whether to seek the death penalty.

"There is absolutely no explanation for actions like this," he said.

During Tuesday's hearing, a judge read the charges and not-guilty pleas were entered for Porter, who appeared in an orange prison jumpsuit, shackled at his wrists and ankles. He did not yet have an attorney.

A preliminary hearing was set for December 19.

After his arrest on the kidnapping charges, Porter told authorities several stories about what he had done with his children, including that he had cut them up and that he had strangled them.

On September 7, he told prison officials and the FBI where to find the bodies, according to the probable cause statement.

The area where the children's remains were found is where Dan and Tina Porter met to swap the children. Police said Dan Porter had asked her to meet him near the area so they could exchange vehicles.

Tina Porter, 44, of Independence, has said he tried to get her to drive her pickup into the woods by telling her that he had stashed $50,000 there and wanted to get it. She refused.

Prosecutors have advised Tina Porter not to talk to reporters, said Van Buckley, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

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Jury receives molestation case

September 05, 2007

Shawnee County District Court jurors deliberated for more than five hours hours Tuesday on whether to acquit a 57-year-old man on charges he sexually assaulted three young girls, two of whom are his granddaughters.

Jurors either can acquit Robert Charles Longstaff, of Topeka, or convict him of two counts of rape of a child younger than 14 or, in the alternative, two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child younger than 14 and one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the jury of seven men and five women recessed for the day. The jury asked to hear the readback of testimony by the two younger girls.

During the trial, the two granddaughters of Longstaff and a first cousin of the other two girls took the witness stand to tell jurors that Longstaff had sexually assaulted them.

Longstaff's daughter, 33, also told jurors Longstaff raped her two days after Thanksgiving in 2004 and had molested her as a child.

Assistant district attorney Daniel Dunbar noted the three victims were 8 or younger when they were assaulted and wouldn't know about the sexual details they described unless they were assaulted.

To acquit Longstaff, Dunbar said, jurors would have to think there is a conspiracy between the mother of two girls, a Topeka police investigator, an investigator who interviewed the girls, the paternal grandmother of two of the girls, and nurses who investigated the reported assaults. A conspiracy would stretch the imagination, Dunbar said.

Dunbar told jurors not to let Longstaff get away with the sexual assaults, to be strong like the victims who came forward to testify against him in court, and to convict him.

Michael Francis, Longstaff's defense attorney, contended there was reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case against his client.

Longstaff's 8-year-old granddaughter last week avoided looking at him, wouldn't say his name in court and wrote his first name, "Bob," on a sheet of paper. The girl wouldn't say out loud who touched her vagina, but acknowledged it was Longstaff when Dunbar asked whether the name on the paper was her assailant.

The granddaughter's cousin said "Bob" touched her vagina while she sat on his lap in his rocking chair.

An 11-year-old granddaughter used a purple pen last week to circle the breasts, vagina and buttocks to indicate "bad touch" locations on a girl's body, then pointed to the circled vagina as the place Longstaff touched her twice when she was 8.

In 1989, Longstaff pleaded no contest in Shawnee County District Court to a reduced charge of attempted aggravated incest of his daughter, then was placed on five years of probation, court records said. Longstaff originally was charged with aggravated incest in that case.

This is the second time Longstaff has been tried on these charges. The first trial ended Dec. 14 in a mistrial after that jury viewed a videotape that hadn't been properly redacted.

Steve Fry can be reached at (785) 295-1206 or steve.fry@cjonline com

Father Arrested In Possible Child Neglect Case
Posted: 9:22 PM Jul 25, 2006
Last Updated: 9:33 PM Jul 25, 2006
Reporter: KAKE News

Father Arrested In Possible Child Neglect Case
July 25

A local father joins his wife, both facing charges of child endangerment.

"He knew, or should have known, the condition of his daughters," said Captain Randy Landen with Wichita police.

It was obvious to the social worker who got a tip to check on the six and seven year old girls last Friday. The mere sight of the children enraged some officers at the scene.

For police, there is no explanation a father could give as to why his children had been deprived of food and water for at least several days. The children were dehydrated and in dire straits.

The children were admitted to the hospital. Their father, Alex Wood, was arrested on two counts of aggravated child endangerment.

Just hours before his arrest, the children's stepmother, Jennifer Wood, was released from jail. Police claim her two biological children were in great shape, but her two stepchildren were a different story.

In addition to being deprived food, Wood is also accused of aggravated battery. Ligature marks were found on one of the girls' throats.

While all of this was unfolding, the family of the father of Jennifer Wood's children, were in a panic. They didn't want to be identified, but say Wood brought all four children to their home for a picnic about a year ago. They say she wouldn't let the step children have anything but water, claiming they had food allergies.

Authorities say they are still investigating exactly what happened inside the home, and how long it had been going on. One question they might never understand the answer to is, why.

Kansas Legislative Summary:

Updates on domestic and sexual violence

The information below contains summaries of enrolled bills passed during the 2007 Kansas Legislative session. These summaries do not reflect the entirety of the statutory changes included in any one bill. Readers should consult an attorney and/or read the entire bill before relying on it for any legal actions. The full text of these bills can be found at:
www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-bills/enrolledBills.do



SB18: Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (UCAPA).
PASSED AND SIGNED.

This would allow for the filing of a motion to prevent possible child abduction. This has some good pieces to it IF the abuser does not use these provisions mischievously. We have asked for two things to accompany UCAPA: (1) publishing the official comments to the Act in the statute books so practitioners can see the intent of the legislation, and (2) amending the Kansas parental kidnapping crimes. See SB182 below. Effective 07.01.07: it should include comments from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in the Kansas statute book. NCCUSL is an organization that drafts and advocates for enactment of uniform state laws. Comments to uniform laws drafted by NCCUSL often contain clarifying information about the intent of the drafters.

SB182: Crimes concerning Interference with Parental Custody.
DID NOT PASS.

This bill would have amended the crimes of Interference with Parental Custody (K.S.A. 21-3422) and Aggravated Interference with Parental Custody (K.S.A. 21-3422a) to provide an exception and a defense for those parents who flee with their children in order to protect the child or themselves from mistreatment or abuse. The exception keeps the protective parent from being charged if she does certain things after fleeing; the defense allows her to raise the abuse as a defense if she is charged. SB182 did not pass but an interim committee met August 16 for further review.

SB31: "Elliott" fix.
PASSED AND SIGNED.

This law will allow municipal courts to charge enhanced penalty crimes that could be charged as a felony due to prior convictions. Domestic Battery is one such crime. The Elliott case, decided by the Kansas Supreme Court last year, prohibited municipal courts from charging these enhanced penalty crimes if they could be charged as a felony. As a general rule, municipal courts cannot charge felonies. We will need to watch for the impact of this new law on third-time convictions for Domestic Battery.

SB68: Anti-bullying.
PASSED AND SIGNED.

This law will require school boards to adopt policies prohibiting bullying on school property, in a school vehicle, or at a school-sponsored activity. It also requires school boards to develop and implement a plan to address bullying on or before January 1, 2008. Bullying is defined in the new law.

HB2006/HB2372/SB2: Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Alexa's Law.
PASSED AND SIGNED.

For purposes of criminal laws, "person" would include a fetus.

SB204: Kansas Offender Registration Act Amendments.
PASSED AND SIGNED.

This will amend the Kansas Offender Registration Act by adding a person convicted of Aggravated Trafficking to the definition of offender; eliminates the requirement of the KBI to send letters every 90 days to verify address, etc.; requires offenders to report to sheriff four times per year and pay a $20.00 fee per reporting.



KCSDV begins project to address the criminal justice system response to domestic violence

Governor Kathleen Sebelius was recently awarded a federal grant that will involve a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, statewide training initiative. KCSDV is one of the grant partners and will house the Project Coordinator and three other staff funded under the project.

The Grants to Encourage Arrest Program (GTEAP), a grant program out of the Department of Justice, is designed to improve the criminal justice system's response to domestic violence. The grant will focus on training and model protocol development.

Grant partners include Governor Sebelius, KCSDV, the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, the Office of Judicial Administration, the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association, and the Kansas Department of Corrections. Training initiatives will include judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, corrections officials, and victims' advocates.

For more information, contact Sara Rust-Martin, GTEAP project coordinator at KCSDV, at
srust-martin@kcsdv.org or 785-232-9784.


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