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Child abuse trial postponed 14th time

Staff writer

For reasons not disclosed on the 8th judicial district’s public access portal, where most court cases may be tracked online, trial for a man charged in 2017 with 12 counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child younger than 14 and one count of battery has been postponed again.

This makes the 14th postponement of Jerry Thouvenell’s trial. Last scheduled to begin Monday, Thouvenell’s trial is now scheduled to begin March 6.

The most recent delay could be to fit the trial calendar of a new senior judge, James Fleetwood, appointed to hear the case.

Fleetwood was assigned June 16. The case now will be heard more than five years after charges were filed.

The first 10 times the trial was delayed by Thouvenell’s first lawyer, David Leon. The 11th delay was to give his second lawyer, Kevin Loeffler, time to prepare.

Thouvenell fired Leon after finding Leon was being investigated for alleged ethics violations. Kansas Supreme Court later suspended Leon’s license.

In February 2021, Loeffler asked judge Mark Braun to postpone trial again. He said his only support staff member was hospitalized and expected to be out of the office for three to four weeks.

Braun rescheduled the trial for June 7 to 17.

Then trial was scheduled to begin Monday.

After a hearing Aug. 2, Fleetwood rescheduled the trial. No document is yet available on electronic court records to show the reason for rescheduling.

Thouvenell’s alleged crimes occurred from Jan. 1, 2012, to Aug. 8, 2016.

His wife, Sheila Thouvenell, was charged in February 2017 with three counts of aggravated intimidation of a witness for allegedly preventing a witness from reporting a crime and two counts of aggravated child endangerment. She struck a plea agreement and pleaded guilty in April 2018 to interference with law enforcement. She was sentenced to a year’s probation.

Last modified Aug. 11, 2022

 

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