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Man accused of sex crimes while in state hospital

A 38-year-old man is facing sex crimes charges in connection with time spent in the state hospital for mental health treatment, according to recently released information from Kansas City.

The man was being held at the Kansas Sexual Predator Treatment Program at the state hospital at the time of the alleged offenses. He is accused of attempting to entice a young teenager to send explicit pictures and produce pornography. He is also facing charges of receiving and distributing pornographic images, according to authorities.

The charges were announced as part of a sealed indictment that was distributed on Oct. 12, according to information from the grand jury. Evidence in the case suggests that the man had solicited the images over the Internet during his time in the state hospital. He had been committed to the hospital for treatment in 1999, according to authorities, when he was found to have violated the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act.

Another co-defendant has been listed in the case. That 39-year-old man was also charged with receiving and distributing pornographic images of the minor.

It is not clear whether the accused in this case will be remanded to federal prison for his crimes, or if he will simply experience an extended stay in the state hospital because of the violations. The man is clearly suffering from severe mental illness, which lawmakers have attempted to address through the violent predator legislation.

It is also not clear whether the man will face a jury trial or simply choose to plead guilty to the charges. Considering the nature of the crime and the evidence associated with the incident, a judge may decide to have the man's sentence at the mental health facility extended. This would be preferable to allowing the man to enter the general prison population, where he would face physical violence because of the nature of his crimes.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Man accused of committing sex crimes while being treated as sexual predator," Robert A. Cronkleton, Oct. 12, 2012

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