KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The attorney for a former Kansas Bureau of Investigation official charged with sexual exploitation of a child and trying to destroy evidence said Friday that "no child was ever in danger."
Attorney Thomas Haney said the claims are "serious" but stressed that former KBI deputy director Kyle G. Smith isn't accused of approaching, touching or having any communication with a child.
"The allegation is that he looked at an image that was publicly available on his computer through a website that anybody would have access to," Haney said, though he added that he hadn't received any of the investigative reports from prosecutors yet.
Smith, 57, of Topeka, was charged Thursday in Shawnee County District Court with one count of sexual exploitation of a child for allegedly possessing a photo of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct in November. He also faces two counts of interference with law enforcement, alleging he tried to destroy evidence on a telephone and on a computer.
Haney said Smith's first appearance will likely be scheduled in April when the case appears on a criminal assignment docket. Smith was released Thursday after posting a $15,000 surety bond.
KBI spokesman Mark Malick said in December that the agency's human resources office issued a notice Nov. 26 that Smith no longer worked for the KBI. The office would not provide details, calling it a personnel matter. But Haney said Smith -- the KBI's third-highest administrator -- retired and that his retirement "isn't tied to any allegations."
Haney also said the KBI had nothing to do with the case and that no ongoing or prior cases were compromised.
"Kyle could have been driving a cab and the allegations would have had as much to do with him being the driver of a cab as his being the deputy director of the KBI," Haney said. "It doesn't have any relationship."