LSN reporter Peter Smith gives an overview of his week at the Phill Kline trial in Topeka, Kansas. Peter is returning to Front Royal, Virginia tomorrow, but will continue his coverage of the trial as it resumes next week.
TOPEKA, Kansas, February 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Phill Kline ethics trial has wrapped up its first week in Topeka, and after five days of eight hour interrogations of witnesses, the prosecution still has not rested its case. But the week has raised very serious (and disturbing) questions, not the least of which are why has Planned Parenthood been protected, why have raped children been forgotten, and why is the prosecutor who sought to protect them himself being prosecuted?
Objectively, the criminal investigation and prosecution that Phill Kline launched as attorney general has nothing directly to do with the political issues surrounding abortion. Trial testimony explained that the investigation was over the rule of law, and that Kline fulfilled a pledge he made to the voters of Kansas that he would do everything in his power to crack down on child rapists and make sure that law enforcement was receiving information about and prosecuting cases of child rape.
Despite the battle of the ethics trial, Phill Kline is usually seen smiling, confident, and serious. But there is one thing that makes him choke back tears when reporters talk to him: the hundreds of child rape victims he could not save as AG because his investigation was stonewalled over abortion.
“No one has looked into the credible evidence that children were being abused in this state, and no one was reporting it, and that should be a concern for Kansas,” Kline told reporters Thursday. (Yours truly, covering the event, is the man with the hat in the background in this video of that interview. Hat tip to our friends at Kansas Watchdog, and reporter Earl Glynn).
The testimony in this week’s trial revealed that the case began very simply: records from the state agency responsible for receiving child sex abuse reports seemed underreported. Officials with the Social and Rehabilitative Services (SRS) in 2003 told Kline that they had just over 1000 cases of child sex abuse reports for the whole state.
But there was a huge problem: SRS in Sedwick County, Kansas, reported they had just under twice that number of cases.
Kline’s chief investigator, Tom Williams, a former FBI agent with 31 years of experience (including the investigation of drugs, organized crime, white-collar crime, and public corruption) looked into the disparity. Judge Richard Anderson, Chief District Judge of Shawnee County, gave him a subpoena for SRS records.
He got just under 20,000 SRS reports of child sex abuse. After whittling them down, removing duplicates from several reporters of the same crime, Williams found 6,797 reports of child sex abuse in Kansas between 2001-2003, and more than 1800 reports of child sex abuse in Sedwick county.
But there are just four records in SRS showing reporting from abortion providers during that time. Kline’s office had KDHE subpoenaed by Judge Anderson in order to obtain the ID numbers for the reporting abortion providers. They discovered that out of the 166 cases of abortions on girls 14 years old and under, Comprehensive Health Planned Parenthood (CHPP) in Johnson County and George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic had each reported just one case of child rape.
For Kline’s office, every one of those 166 cases - for just one year - represented 166 children who needed the help and intervention of the state against child sex abusers. But a case against child sex abusers can’t begin without names, and the only ones with the names were Planned Parenthood and George Tiller.
And that is where a straightforward case of law enforcement trying to save young girls from sexual predators goes awry.
Steve Maxwell, Kline’s chief prosecutor in the AG Criminal Division testified on the stand Friday that he thought it would have been the easiest case to handle. But it was the worst.
The reason? Both Planned Parenthood and Tiller obstructed Kline’s investigation, hiding behind the politically volatile issue of legal abortion. They resisted subpoenas for the children’s medical records, and made the whole case public when the “Alpha-Beta” case went to the Kansas Supreme Court. One likely reason is that the medical records also revealed that both abortion providers had been committing illegal late-term abortions on post-viable unborn infants over 22 weeks gestation - a criminal offense.
With a local press willing to color the Kline case as a legal witch hunt against abortionists, and the constant interference of a Supreme Court (five out of seven justices directly appointed by pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius), Kline’s investigation became hopelessly bogged down. By the time they got the records, he ran out of time to execute his investigation and prosecution of child rapists.
Eight years after launching an investigation into failures to report and prosecute child sex abuse (which included a live-births in under-age girls investigation), nothing has been done. Instead of child rapists being put on the stand, prosecuted, and convicted, former AG Phill Kline has been put on the stand, and prosecuted (in an ethics trial), and if convicted faces the loss of his law license.
What is more, a conviction of unethical conduct would help Planned Parenthood escape the criminal charges it currently faces, because Kline was able to successfully file a criminal case against them as District Attorney of Johnson County: 107 criminal counts, including 23 felonies, related to failures to report child rape, falsification of documents, and illegal late-term abortions.
But the fact remains that after eight years, the state of Kansas has not investigated who were the victims of child rape that Kline was seeking to protect. A law passed in 2006 requires abortionists to send a tissue sample of the aborted baby in order to help law enforcement identify victims.
Hundreds of child victims are still unknown, and many of their rapists are possibly at-large, needing to be brought to justice - and would have been, had the public, the press, and the state demanded that equal application of law apply to abortionists. And that is the very demand that a grand jury in Pennsylvania made when they said they were appalled that state officials deliberately ignored reports of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” because keeping an abortionist in business took precedence over the law.
The tragedy in the Phill Kline case is that the very children he meant to save and protect as AG remain anonymous, their current status, condition, or suffering unknown.
In the meantime, the state disciplinary board for attorneys allocates public resources to determine whether Kline and his subordinates acted properly from start to finish.
See the complete list of LSN stories by Peter Smith on the Kline trial:
* 107-count criminal case begins against Planned Parenthood in Kansas
* Phill Kline ethics trial: Day 1 – Live update
* Kansas abortionists failed to report 166 potential cases of child rape: Phill Kline trial day 2
* Phill Kline attorney makes witness sweat in Planned Parenthood ethics complaint case
* DA’s diary snatching brings new twist to Phill Kline ethics trial, potential crime
* Kansas Travesty: 249 child-age abortions over 3 years, just four sex abuse reports: Kline Hearings
* Kansas judge testifies ‘probable cause’ existed to investigate criminal PP activity: Kline Hearings
* Kline did not violate judge’s order in secret Planned Parenthood case: judge’s legal counsel
* Planned Parenthood gambit: beat Phill Kline charges, defeat Live Action?
* Former Tiller attorney combed CD of sensitive records from Kline investigation
* The Phill Kline saga: Planned Parenthood protected, children forgotten, the prosecutor prosecuted
* Day 6 trial: Kline protected sexual assault victim privacy, Tiller compromised patient privacy
* Video: Kline says ‘those in power’ blocked Planned Parenthood, Tiller investigation
* Witness: Phill Kline didn’t need/want adult patient names
* Prosecutor tells investigator: we don’t have to accept report clearing Phill Kline
* UPDATE: Kline tells ethics panel, ‘You are violating my due process rights!’
* ‘It is wrong!’: Phill Kline blocked from presenting full defense, calling all witnesses
* Phill Kline: Kansas Supreme Court ‘obstructed’ child rape investigation to save Planned Parenthood
* Phill Kline ethics trial adjourns for now: battle has cost him $200,000 says Kline