January 21, 2006

Once free, Larson could be locked up

The Wichita Eagle

The Wichita Eagle

Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline on Friday vowed to go to court to have convicted child molester Robert Larson, a longtime Catholic priest in the Wichita Diocese, designated a sexual predator when he is released from state prison in March.
But to get what he wants, Kline will have to win a legal argument that a plea agreement protecting Larson from just such a move is invalid. Sexual predators are committed to a state institution indefinitely for treatment under terms of the Kansas Violent Predator Act.
"I consider him a predator," Kline said of Larson, "and we're doing all we can to keep him off the streets."
Larson, 76, pleaded guilty in 2001 in Harvey County District Court to abusing three altar boys and a 19-year-old man while he was pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Newton in the 1980s. He will have served five years in prison -- the longest term possible under the state laws in place at the time of the crimes -- when he is released from Lansing on March 20.
One of the terms of the plea agreement under which Larson admitted guilt is that the state would not seek Larson's commitment under the Violent Predator Act. That agreement was signed by then-Harvey County Attorney Matt Treaster and Dan Monnat, Larson's defense lawyer.

Posted by kshaw at January 21, 2006 08:24 AM