Judge tosses out sex offender's lawsuit against Kansas sheriff

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. — A convicted sex offender’s lawsuit against a Kansas sheriff for ruining his “good reputation” was dismissed by a federal judge.  

Kirk William Owen, of Grove, Okla. filed the federal lawsuit against Danny Smith, Crawford County Sheriff, and Lisa Luskar, Crawford County Court Clerk, alleging that they caused false statements to be made on Facebook about him, harming his reputation and causing him emotional distress.

United States District Judge Julie A. Robinson dismissed Owen’s lawsuit without prejudice, meaning he can refile his lawsuit later. Her ruling centered on Owen’s failure to respond to Smith and Luskar’s motion to dismiss.

Owen filed a $1 million civil lawsuit after Smith’s office posted statements in August on a social media site. He was wanted for questioning by the Crawford County, Kansas Sheriff’s Office for enticing or luring children with candy.

Smith’s post referenced Owen, who was wearing only underwear and a shirt, and was observed driving a white convertible Corvette had contacted several male juveniles at a Cherokee, Kansas park allegedly offering them large bags of candy in exchange for the children telling him their home addresses. Owen allegedly drove by the address provided by one of the boys three days later in the same vehicle and was confronted by a neighbor, at which point he fled.

The social media post included Owen’s name, photograph and photograph of his car.

Owen alleged he received death threats after Smith’s post.  

In a related matter, a one-year protective order was issued against Owen prohibiting him from contacting or being near the children that were at the park.

Owen’s legal problems in Oklahoma surfaced after he was arrested following an Ottawa County District Court hearing where he sought to have a protective order dismissed allowing him to be around a teenage boy.

That arrest put Owen in an Oklahoma jail for the past three months on an application to revoke a suspended sentence involving a 2000 Beaver County lewd molestation case. He was charged with seven counts of lewd molestation. After pleading no contest to two charges he received a 20-year suspended sentence and was fined $2,500, according to online records.

The Beaver County District Attorney’s office said Owen’s file is restricted and sealed per a judge’s court order and no information about the 2000 case could be released.

A federal search warrant was served on Owens’ house in September and further criminal charges are anticipated upon the completion of the investigation, according to a Miami, Oklahoma Police Department press release.

Owen was previously convicted on January 5, 1987, in Sedgwick County, Kansas of lewd behavior.  

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