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Sedgwick County Sheriff Thomas Hanna recalled after accusation of sexual assault involving prisoner

Posted at 9:04 AM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 21:34:39-05

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Colo. -- Residents in Sedgwick County have voted to recall Sheriff Thomas Hanna after he was accused of sexual assault involving an inmate.

Preliminary results from Tuesday's recall election show nearly 66 percent of registered voters voted in the recall election. They voted 944 to 89 to recall Hanna.

Hanna was arrested in August 2016. He is accused of taking a developmentally delayed inmate to his home, sexually assaulting her and threatening to put her in prison for the rest of her life if she told anyone, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Associated Press.

Jeff Huston, an investigator with the district attorney's office, wrote in the affidavit that the inmate told him that Hanna offered to pay her $60, forced her to strip and sexually assaulted her after taking her to his home in his personal vehicle on Aug. 10.
 
"He told me if I say anything, he was going to try and put me in prison. ... I felt like I was raped, to be honest and this has bothered me a lot and it feels good to get it out because I'm telling the truth," the inmate said, according to the affidavit. Her name had been redacted from the document.
 
Huston described the woman as timid and having a hard time organizing her thoughts during the interview.
 
The investigator said the sheriff denied the allegations and explained that he was interviewing the inmate after she reported having information on her cellphone about a crime.
 
Hanna acknowledged making a mistake when he took her to his home, Huston said in the document.
 
The sheriff later dropped off the inmate at a jail in neighboring Logan County and put $20 on her commissary tab because he said he has a big heart and wanted to make sure she could call her brother, according to the affidavit.
 
Sedgwick County contracts with jails in other counties because it is unable to house long-term inmates.
 
Dottie Woltemath, a victim advocate for the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, described the inmate as developmentally delayed, according to the affidavit. She did not elaborate.
 
In the recall election, voters were asked to vote for a successor. Larry Neugebauer recevied 719 votes, Rick Ingwersen received 300 votes.

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