NewsLocal News

Actions

Olathe family celebrates legislative victory in effort to change Kansas stalking statute

Antonucci Not Your Daughter.jpg
Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 23:59:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — An Olathe family whose 10-year-old daughter was allegedly stalked by her teacher is celebrating a victory.

Wednesday, a bill they helped introduce passed in the Kansas House of Representatives.

The bill was introduced after the girl's teacher, James Loganbill, admitted to taking hundreds of pictures and videos of her. They were mostly focused on her buttocks.

It was the fourth grader's fellow classmates who first reported his behavior to their parents, who then contacted school officials.

Loganbill resigned and is now facing a charge of reckless stalking.

In Kansas, if someones is convicted under the crime it's a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison.

Due to the language of the statute, Loganbill's attorney tried to have the case dismissed, claiming it wasn't stalking because the girl was unaware of it at the time.

Although a judge denied the defense's motion to dismiss, the family has fought to strengthen the wording of that statute and to increase the penalties associated with it.

Before the House took a vote, several lawmakers addressed their colleagues, asking for support.

"Today we have the opportunity to pass this necessary legislation because someone preyed on the wrong girl, a girl whose bravery outmatched her stalker's," Republican Rep. Megan Lynn said. "Someone chose the wrong group of friends who spoke up to trusted adults when they saw that something wrong was being done to their friend. And someone chose the wrong mother whose strength and persistence made her unwilling to settle with a class a misdemeanor when her child was at stake."

The legislation did pass unanimously and now moves on to the Kansas Senate. If approved, it would make stalking a minor under 14 a felony.

As for Loganbill, even if it's passed, the legislation wouldn't impact his case. He's due back in court later this month.

The girl's mother released a statement on Facebook that says in part, "Today, I am so proud of the Republicans and Democrats who have linked arms with us as we work to pass bill #1 of many. Proud of everyone in our community who has reached out to a State Rep this week. Thank you!"