Crime

‘You chose the wrong individual to be your last victim’ Joco deputy tells rapist

A man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a rookie Johnson County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced Thursday to more than 41 years in prison.

William Luth, 26, was sentenced to 41 years and three months by Johnson County District Judge Brenda Cameron under terms of a plea agreement.

Luth, of Blue Springs, pleaded guilty in December to charges of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of rape and one count of aggravated criminal sodomy.

The sentence was an “upward departure” from Kansas sentencing guidelines.

District Attorney Steve Howe said that the higher sentence was justified because Luth was the instigator and organizer of the attack along with another man.

The deputy, who was 22 and had been on the job for only four months, was abducted on Oct. 7, 2016, outside the Johnson County Detention Center in Olathe.

She was in the courtroom Thursday but did not speak.

She asked Howe to read a statement in which she described the ordeal as “two hours of hell.”

But she told Luth that he did not break her and that she was a better person and a better law enforcement officer since the attack.

She also told him how the experience had given her the resolve to be an advocate for others who are victims of similar crimes.

“I won,” she said in her statement. “You chose the wrong individual to be your last victim.”

A second man, Brady Newman-Caddell, of Independence, is also charged in the case. The charges against him are pending.

Newman-Caddell and Luth are also charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with raping another woman in Independence in February 2016.

The Johnson County deputy testified at a previous court hearing that she had just arrived for work at the detention center when a man approached her in the parking lot.

He asked for directions then punched her in the head multiple times before forcing her into the back seat of a car.

A second man drove as the man who had grabbed her raped and sodomized her.

The men traded places and she was again sexually assaulted by the second man.

Eventually, she was let out of the car in Jackson County.

In her statement to the court, she talked about the vivid nightmares of the attack she has experienced and about her fear of parking in the same lot where she was abducted.

“I emotionally could not do it,” she said.

The crime also affected her ability to trust other people.

“My trust in people, especially men, damn-near disappeared altogether,” she said in the statement.

But she said she has worked to regain he trust in others and to get past that anxiety about parking in the same lot.

“In fact, I’ll park in the exact space I parked in on October 7th, just because I know I can overcome it,” she said.

Before imposing the sentence, Judge Cameron told the deputy that she admired the courage she has shown.

“This kind of horror could destroy a person,” Cameron said. “You are truly an amazing person.”

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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