OLATHE, Kan. - A former Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff's deputy is accused of inappropriately touching a female inmate while she was in custody.
Vernon Finkenbinder was charged with unlawful sexual relations on Tuesday. He had served as a deputy in Johnson County for the last ten years.
The alleged crime occurred on Sept. 23, according to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office. However, it wasn’t until two days later that anyone with authority knew what happened. The incident went unreported until inmates came clean on what they knew and saw.
Sheriff Frank Denning immediately placed Finkenbinder on administrative leave. He has since resigned.
“When we breach that line, when we cross that line, I think the men and women in the organization agree with me that that behavior won't be tolerated,” Denning explained.
The story rocked Alise Namauu, who was visiting her boyfriend at the Central Booking Facility on Tuesday. Her sister is also locked up inside the jail in downtown Olathe.
"I was scared and I thought it was my sister," she said. "There was no way I could find that out, (but) my sister's boyfriend talked to her and found out she was ok."
Denning said the victim has received counseling.
The incident touched him on a personal level and motivated him to go over to the jail and speak with the other female inmates face to face.
"I wanted them to know that they had my support and the support of my staff, and in this facility they have the right to feel safe," he said.
Investigators believe this was an isolated incident.
Finkenbinder ran unsuccessfully for Linn County, Kan., Sheriff in 2008. Out of 4,429 votes cast, he won 82.
Denning described Finkenbinder’s career with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department as "unremarkable." He didn’t have anything particularly good or bad to say about it, until the alleged crimes were reported last week.
There are 425 deputies on the force in Johnson County. Since Finkenbinder resigned, none of them are currently on administrative leave.
Finkenbinder has been released on a $50,000 bond.
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