SEDGWICK COUNTY, Colo. — The sheriff of Sedgwick County is accused of having sex with a prisoner in custody. He made his first court appearance Wednesday where he was advised of the four charges against him. The judge set Tom Hanna’s bond at $250,000.
Hanna was arrested Tuesday and the prosecutor from the 13th Judicial District recused herself from the case. A special prosecutor from the 18th Judicial District will handle the case.
Hanna was transferred from the Logan County Jail to Weld County for safety reasons. He arrested some of the inmates who are in the Logan County Jail.
Court records show Hanna faces charges of sexual conduct in a correctional institute, sexual assault on an at-risk adult, soliciting prostitution and official misconduct.
According to the arrest affidavit, Deputy Larry Neugebauer reported suspicious behavior by Hanna on Aug. 10.
Neugebauer told investigators that Hanna came to the sheriff’s office with his personal vehicle and said he was going to take a female inmate to the Logan County Jail.
Neugebauer said he asked Hanna if he planned to use his personal vehicle and Hanna said he didn’t really want to, but he was going to Denver after that so he would drop off the inmate on his way.
Neugebauer said he saw the inmate handcuffed in Hanna’s pickup truck, and noted it was a violation of policy and procedure.
Later, Neugebauer said he saw the pickup outside Hanna’s home. He didn’t see anyone in the truck.
“Larry was thinking, ‘Good Lord, why would you do that,’ but Larry thought Sheriff Hanna just stopped there real quick,” investigator Jeff Huston wrote in the arrest affidavit.
About 20 minutes later, Neugebauer passed Hanna’s house again and noticed the pickup was still parked outside. Again, he didn’t see anyone in the truck.
Neugebauer noted it is not normal procedure to interview people at deputies’ homes, especially a female.
Huston spoke to the female inmate on Aug. 22. Huston said the woman was “delayed,” “timid” and “obviously had trouble putting her thoughts together.”
The woman was embarrassed and scared she would get in trouble, Huston said.
The woman told Huston the sheriff told her he wanted more information about a drug case. She said she “should have screamed” and would have ran, but she was in custody.
She said Hanna wanted to have sex and offered $60 and made her strip.
“He said, ‘This has to stay between us, if it don’t, I’m gonna take you to prison for the rest of your life,’” Huston quoted the woman as saying.
The woman told Huston that Hanna took off his pants and asked her to touch him. She said she told Hanna she didn’t want to do it.
The woman said Hanna penetrated her with his fingers and did not give her the $60 but put $20 in her commissary account at the jail.
“I felt like I was raped,” Huston quoted the woman as saying.
Huston told the woman she was raped and she said, “Was I really?” and threw up into a trash can.
Huston had the woman sketch the layout of the inside of Hanna’s house. She also said that she was menstruating at the time and the sheriff gave her “a pad.”
Huston said her sketches matched the layout of the sheriff’s home, and investigators found pads and tampons in his bathroom. Hanna admitted taking the inmate to his house and that it was a “poor decision.”
Hanna said the woman had told him she had information she wanted to share in private. Hanna denied touching her in a sexual way and refused to take a polygraph test, according to the affidavit.
Hanna said he put $20 in the woman’s commissary account because he “has a big heart.” Investigators found photos of the woman and text messages from her on Hanna’s cellphone, the affidavit said.
Huston told Hanna that he did not believe the woman was not smart enough to make up the story and stick to it and that she had not been the one who brought it up to law enforcement.
Officials from the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation made the arrest.
Hanna was initially taken to the Logan County Detention Center and then moved to the Weld County Jail.
A spokesman for the Logan County Sheriff’s Office said an advisement hearing for Hanna that was expected to happen Tuesday afternoon was rescheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday.