Sheriff: Rape Allegations Raise Questions

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Sedgwick County Sheriff calls allegations of rape in side his jail embarrassing.

Earlier this week, KAKE News reported an inmate claims a deputy assaulted him inside a jail cell. Now, the sheriff is speaking out.

Sheriff Bob Hinshaw says the rape allegations raise some serious questions, but he makes it very clear: His department is conducting a thorough investigation and, if necessary, criminal charges will be pursued in the case.

"Even the mere hint of an allegation of this nature affects everyone," Hinshaw says. "No one wants to work with someone like that because, again, it taints all of us and that's not why we took an oath."

Hinshaw doesn't hide the fact he's embarrassed when one of his own makes a mistake. However, he also makes it clear wrongdoing in his department will not be tolerated.

"My focus right now is on making sure this investigation is thorough, that it's completed, that it's done correctly and that proper action is taken, regardless of what that may be," Hinshaw says.

Kurt Kerns is representing the inmate involved. He says the incident happened inside a cell about 3 a.m. June 3rd. He claims a deputy handcuffed the inmate, threatened him and then raped him.

"It's disturbing enough in the context of inmate on inmate violence," Kerns says. "But it takes on a new, additional, unseemly factor when the person that's being accused is someone that's charged with protecting and serving."

The sheriff says immediately after the alleged incident happened, the inmate reported it to jail staff. He was taken to the medical clinic for an evaluation.

Hinshaw points out his investigation is being overseen by the office of professional standards.

"First and foremost, we need to get the objective facts and then make a judgment," Hinshaw says. "Rather than making a judgment based on what only one side is putting out."

The deputy who is accused of the rape is still on duty, but he has no contact with inmates.


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