23:55 GMT +320 January 2019
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    Colorado Sheriff Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Disabled Woman Before Jailing Her

    ‘Big Heart’: Colorado Sheriff Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Disabled Inmate

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    An elected Colorado sheriff has been arrested for taking a disabled woman to his home and sexually assaulting her before placing her in jail.

    Sedgwick County Sheriff Thomas Hanna, 43, appeared in court on Wednesday on felony charges of sexual assault of an at-risk adult and sexual conduct with an inmate, as well as misdemeanor charges of official misconduct and soliciting prostitution.

    On August 10, Hanna stated that he would transport a developmentally disabled woman to Logan County Jail. Instead, the sheriff is charged with bringing her to his home, in his personal vehicle, where he offered her $60 for sex.

    The woman told investigators that the sheriff stated, “I just want sex,” and ordered her to strip out of her clothing before exposing himself and assaulting her with his fingers. She told investigators that he also threatened to imprison her for the rest of her life if she reported what he had done to her.

    The victim says that she did not ask the sheriff for the money that he promised her, and that she was worried she would be in trouble. Still, Hanna admitted to depositing $20 into her prison commissary account. He claimed that he gave her money because he “has a big heart” and wanted her to be able to telephone her brother.

    The woman, who has not been publicly named, was in jail on harassment and domestic violence charges. She stated in the affidavit that she was “ashamed” of her disability and did not understand that she had been victimized. She is described as being unable to function on her own.

    An investigation into Hanna’s actions was opened after Deputy Larry Neugebauer reported seeing Hanna place the woman in his personal vehicle and soon after seeing the same vehicle parked outside his home. Transporting a prisoner in a personal vehicle is a violation of department policy.

    “There was information given to me that I had to act on quickly and I did that and once I deemed it necessary I brought in the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and went from there and then made the decision that the 18th needed to take over so everything has happened rather quickly, but I’ve done everything with as much transparency as possible,” District Attorney Brittny Lewton told the local CBS affiliate.

    Hanna declined to take a polygraph test, and excused himself by claiming that he “made a poor decision” and had taken the woman to his home because he wanted to “discuss criminal activity in the area.”

    Hanna’s bond has been set at $250,000 and he could potentially face eight years to life in prison if convicted on the most serious charges. Hanna has not made bond, but should he be released, he has been ordered to wear a GPS tracker, keep 100 yards from the Sedgwick County Courthouse, and not contact his victim, witnesses, or anyone under the age of 18, which would include his two foster children.


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    Police Abuse, Police Misconduct, Sexual Assault, Sedgwick County Sheriff, Thomas Hanna, Colorado
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