Sex­ual preda­tor es­capes at court

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - LOCAL - By JOE LAMBE

Ge­orge Dud­ley, 60, fled while a state health worker guard­ing him was us­ing a re­stroom.

While con­fined in state mental care, sex­u­ally vi­o­lent preda­tors are called pa­tients and not pris­on­ers.

Po­lice say that partly ex­plains how a preda­tor who was left un­guarded eas­ily es­caped from Wyan­dotte County court Mon­day morn­ing while his guard, a state health worker, used the re­stroom.

Ge­orge Dud­ley, 60, was in state mental care at Larned State Hos­pi­tal. He ap­peared Mon­day in court, where he suc­cess­fully ar­gued for the judge to ap­point a new at­tor­ney for him.

“He got what he wanted,” said Rob­bin Wes­son, an as­sis­tant county pros­e­cu­tor. “I think he just saw his op­por­tu­nity and he took it.”

Po­lice through­out the area were look­ing for Dud­ley, con­victed in 1997 of mo­lest­ing three 14-year-old boys in Ed­wardsville.

About noon Mon­day, Dud­ley used a credit card at an ATM at 39th and Main streets in Kansas City, said Jeff Fewell, a spokesman for the Wyan­dotte County sher­iff.

Pa­tients are al­lowed to have credit and debit cards, a state spokesman said.

Dud­ley and three other un­re­strained pris­on­ers from Larned were es­corted to the court by four health-care work­ers, all of them in civil­ian clothes.

At the time of the es­cape, one worker was alone with Dud­ley and an­other of­fender and that worker left them un­su­per­vised, Fewell said. “The in­mate es­caped be­cause a hos­pi­tal em­ployee slipped in to go to the bath­room.”

Steve Mock, a spokesman for Kansas Depart­ment of So­cial and Rehabilitation Ser­vices, said the depart­ment was re­view­ing how the es­cape hap­pened.

“Mr. Dud­ley had reached the point in his devel­op­ment where staff felt he didn’t need to be re­strained,” Mock said.

Dud­ley was con­victed of three counts of in­de­cent so­lic­i­ta­tion of chil­dren and sen­tenced to five years in prison.

Af­ter that, he was des­ig­nated a sex­ual preda­tor and con­fined to in­def­i­nite mental care.


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