Feb 16, 2020 1:00 AM

Ex-Kan. prison lab instructor wants sex crime conviction thrown out

Posted Feb 16, 2020 1:00 AM
Tomas Co photo Texas County
Tomas Co photo Texas County

TOPEKA, KAN. (AP) — A former prison dental instructor who was found guilty earlier this month of one count of unlawful sexual relations with an inmate is asking a judge to throw out the conviction.

Tomas Co was convicted on one charge and found not guilty of five other charges alleging he abused female inmates working in the dental lab at the Topeka Correctional Facility.

The conviction was for a woman who said Co touched the inside of her knee and thigh.

In a motion filed Friday, Co's attorney, Chris Joseph, argued that type of touching doesn’t constitute “lewd” touching under state law. The motion also asks Shawnee County District Court Judge Cheryl Rios to acquit Co based on insufficient evidence, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Joseph said he also plans to seek probation for Co, rather than the 31 to 136 months of prison time he is facing.

District Attorney Mike Kagay said his office would file arguments in response to the defense motion.

Inmates in the dental lab complained for five years about alleged sexual harassment and unwanted touching by Co, who was dismissed in December 2018.

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Feb 16, 2020 1:00 AM
Jury: Kansas man guilty of crack cocaine distribution
Johnson photo Wyandotte Co.

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A federal jury convicted a Kansas man from  on drug and firearm charges, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

Larry D. Johnson, 33, Kansas City, Kan., was convicted February 7, on one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

The crimes were alleged to have occurred May 15, 2017, in Wyandotte County, Kansas.

Sentencing is set for May 7. The defendant could face a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on the drug charge, not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of using a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the other firearm charge.