Guilty! Todd J. Puetz, Garden Plain, Kansas (arrested Oct 2011) [human trafficking]

Discussion in 'Hanky Panky' started by TMP, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. TMP

    TMP Himself

    The trial is being "live blogged" in the coments at the bottom of this KWCH page ...

    KWCH: Follow Live: Former Garden Plain coach takes the stand (Apr 3 2013)

    Puetz says the undercover cop advertised herself to be 18-years-old in the online ad, then claimed to be fifteen after he called her. Puetz says he never asked for sex. The undercover cop was on the first called to the stand Tuesday. Detective Jennifer Wright says she had a conversation with Puetz about whether to visit for an hour or a half hour. I understood he wanted an hour. I asked him what he wanted for the hour and he said whatever he could get. I described I didn't want to get pregnant and did pretty much everything," Wright testified.
  2. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Wichita Eagle: Former Garden Plain coach testifies at his sex crimes trial (Apr 3 2013)

    A former Garden Plain football coach told a Sedgwick County jury Wednesday that he wasn’t looking for sex when he went to a house where undercover police officers were posing as underage prostitutes. “I was going there to try to help them out,” he told the jury. “I would’ve given them the money I had, and I would have called police.”


    Of the seven men arrested in the sting, prosecutors dismissed charges against one, and another was found not guilty by a jury. Four of the defendants are awaiting trial.
  3. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Kansas City Star: Former Kansas high school football coach details encounters with 'massage therapists' (Apr 4 2013)

    Former Garden Plain football coach Todd Puetz told a Sedgwick County jury Thursday that he regularly received massages to ease tension, but he said he only twice accepted an offer for a “happy ending” that added a sexual element to the service. Puetz said a third encounter, on Oct. 22, 2011, resulted in him having intercourse with the massage therapist. It was less than an hour after leaving that third encounter at a west Wichita motel, he said, that he stopped at a house where undercover police officers were posing as underage prostitutes.
  4. TMP

    TMP Himself

    KWCH: Puetz testimony continues in own defense (Apr 4 2013)

    He admits to committing adultery and takes full blame for his actions. But a former high school teacher and coach told a Sedgwick County jury he was not looking for sex from a 15-year-old girl ... Puetz told the jury he wasn't talking about trying to have sex with a 15-year-old girl when he told interrogators he'd messed up the night of his arrest. "I meant the whole night," said Puetz. "That I'd cheated on my wife, that I was talking to Detective Wright. I knew they were adults. That I'd still stopped by the house." Puetz said he'd been trying to get a massage to deal with his anxiety over losing a big football game the night before. When he couldn't make an arrangement with his regular massage provider, he started looking for someone else on a website he'd used before. That's where he found the police department's ad,
  5. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Wichita Eagle: Defense rests case in Todd Puetz trial (Apr 5 2013)

    The defense rested its case Friday morning in the trial of former Garden Plain football coach Todd Puetz, and a Sedgwick County jury could begin deliberations in the case later today ... Puetz testified that he called the number listed in the ad with the hopes of receiving a massage. He said he went to the house where the operation was being conducted because he was concerned about the welfare of the person identifying herself as a 15-year-old girl.
  6. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Updated version of preceding article ...

    Wichita Eagle: Jury begins deliberations in Puetz trial (Apr 5 2013)

    A Sedgwick County jury began deliberations Friday in the trial of former Garden Plain football coach Todd Puetz. Deliberations began about 2:45 p.m. after 31/2 days of testimony.


    District Judge Ben Burgess told the jurors before final arguments that they could consider entrapment as a defense. His entrapment instruction said Puetz should be found not guilty if he was induced by police to commit a crime he had no predisposition of committing. Entrapment is not a defense, Burgess said, if Puetz was predisposed to committing the crime and police only offered him an opportunity to commit it.
  7. TMP

    TMP Himself

    KWCH: Case against former Garden Plain teacher in the hands of the jury (Apr 5 2013)

    A former Garden Plain football coach's fate is in the hands of a jury. The defense rested its case Friday morning ... When lawyers made their closing arguments to the jury in the early afternoon, they focused on two things. One, can jurors believe Todd Puetz' testimony and two, did he intend to have sex with a 15-year-old girl when he showed up at the house where police arrested him.

    Puetz' defense argued it had to reveal his encounters with escorts and his adultery in order to prove he'd never had any interest in minors. "I have to tell you about the sins Todd committed, if you're ever going to believe that he is innocent of the things he didn't commit," said attorney Dan Monnat. "Because he didn't commit solicitation of a 15-year-old girl."


    But prosecuting attorney Justin Edwards disagreed. "Is that really persuasive? Does that really have anything to do with this? Or does that actually emphasize the point? That what this man has been doing, for months prior to his arrest, was deceiving an entire city, an entire community, living an alternative lifestyle that none of them knew about."
  8. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Wichita Eagle: Garden Plain coach acquitted of two felony charges; jury hung on third (Apr 8 2013)

    A Sedgwick County jury acquitted former Garden Plain football coach Todd Puetz of two felony charges Monday but was unable to reach a verdict on the third and most serious count. After for than a full day of deliberations, the jury found Puetz not guilty of attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child and attempted criminal sodomy. The jury said it was deadlocked on a charge of electronic solicitation of a child.
  9. TMP

    TMP Himself

    So the score so far is ...
    • Seven arrested, feds refused to touch the case (common modus operandi in these cases is that local police run these stings for publicity, then try to offload the prosecutions to the feds -- these cases apparently were so weak they wouldn't touch them)
    • Charges dropped against one defendant
    • Another defendant acquitted
    • Todd Puetz acquitted on two of three charges, jury hung on third; odds of prosecution retrying the hung charge are ... ? (no predictions from me, my guesses are almost always wrong)
    Meanwhile I'm flagging this thread as "Not Guilty".
  10. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Bad guess on my part already, retrial set for 24 June.

    See immediately above regarding my guesses always being wrong. :D
  11. TMP

    TMP Himself

  12. TMP

    TMP Himself

    Kansas City Star: Lawyer: ‘Vindicated’ ex-Garden Plain coach wants teaching job back (Aug 30 2013)

    Todd Puetz, a successful Garden Plain High School football coach before a sex-sting case “destroyed his life,” wants to teach again in the Renwick school district, his lawyer said Thursday. “He wants his job back, and he wants what he’s entitled to under the law, and that’s all,” said Lee Kinch, the lawyer representing Puetz in employment matters. Puetz had been a physical education teacher, coach and athletic director before the Renwick district chose not to renew his contract after the October 2011 sting.


    Kinch said Puetz has been “essentially vindicated.” This past April, a Sedgwick County jury found him not guilty of attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child and attempted criminal sodomy. The jury couldn’t reach a verdict on a third charge, electronic solicitation of a child under 16. Kinch said the deadlocked jury voted 11-1 in Puetz’s favor, for acquittal. “What he pleaded guilty to (the misdemeanor count of patronizing a prostitute) has nothing to do with his teaching and coaching responsibilities. It did not involve anyone in that district,” Kinch said in a telephone interview Thursday after being contacted by an Eagle reporter. There is no evidence that Puetz has done anything inappropriate with students or minors, Kinch said.

    Vindicated? He pleaded guilty to patronizing a hooker. Do Garden Plain parents want their sons mentored by man known to patronize prostitutes? I rather doubt it, but I'm sure will find out.

    What also stands out is that local authorities bungled these cases (there were several arrests besides Todd Puetz) rather badly. It appeared they intended to get some quick publicity & attaboys from the public, then turn the cases over to the feds for prosecution. Federal prosecutors declined to accept the cases, and the local legal beagles did not fare too well in court.

    It would be interesting to know the final scorecards on the 7 that were arrested in the sting -- how many were actually convicted and of what?

    Other articles based on this Kansas City Star article: