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Rush Co.-based trooper facing charges

7/18/2012

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

LA CROSSE -- A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper remains in jail in lieu of $100,000 bond after being charged with eight felonies, including rape and aggravated criminal sodomy. Six other felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties also were filed.

All but one of the nine charges filed Monday against 39-year-old Domingo Cardenas are sex-related, involving children between the ages of 14 and 16.

Cardenas has been placed on a leave of absence without pay pending an internal investigation by the KHP and the outcome of the criminal charges, according to Capt. Scott Harrington, in charge of the patrol's public and governmental affairs division.

Harrington only would confirm Cardenas had been arrested but wouldn't talk about the case, referring questions to the Kansas Attorney General's office, which is handling the prosecution. The case was investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Cardenas has been a trooper since 1998 and was living in Bison at the time of his arrest.

The charges against Cardenas, based in Rush County, were filed Monday in Rush County District Court. He made his first appearance on the charges late Monday afternoon as well, asking that a court-appointed attorney be named to represent him.

Rush County Magistrate Judge Dale Snyder, who set the bond at $100,000, determined Cardenas wasn't eligible for a court-appointed attorney.

Shortly after the hearing, Snyder stepped down from the case to avoid any conflicts.

The most serious charges against Cardenas include the rape and aggravated criminal sodomy charge.

The rape charge claims Cardenas engaged in sexual intercourse without consent, while the girl was "overcome by force or fear ... ." That incident is alleged to have occurred sometime between Dec. 1 and 20.

The aggravated criminal sodomy charge also allegedly involves the same girl and "force or fear," but occurred sometime between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30.

The other charges include six counts of aggravated indecent liberties, allegedly involving two girls between the ages of 14 and 16. Most of charges stem from incidents last year, but two are alleged to have occurred in 2008 and 2009.

An eighth charge of misdemeanor battery also was filed.