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Third KDADS employee charged, accused of helping sex offender escape Larned State Hospital

The Pawnee County Sheriff's Office arrested 29-year-old Sydni Hartman in connection with the...
The Pawnee County Sheriff's Office arrested 29-year-old Sydni Hartman in connection with the escape of John Colt from the Larned State Hospital.(Pawnee County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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PAWNEE COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - A third woman appeared in court on Monday, accused of helping an inmate escape from the Larned State Hospital.

The Pawnee County Attorney’s Office said 29-year-old Sydni Eileen Hartman, of Larned, is charged with obstructing in the apprehension or prosecution of a registered sex offender; traffic in contraband in a care and treatment facility while employed by Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), and conspiracy to commit aggravated escape from the sexual predator treatment program.

The charges stem from an ongoing investigation by Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department following the June 30, 2021, escape of John Freeman Colt from the Sexual Predator Treatment Program located on the campus of Larned State Hospital. The US Marshal’s Service and the Larned State Hospital Special Investigator also assisted in the investigation. Colt was captured in Wayne Country, Utah on September 27, 2021.

Following an arrest warrant by the Pawnee County Attorney’s Office, Hartman was arrested at her home in Larned on October 14, 2021, without incident.

If convicted, under the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines each defendant faces between 31 months and 136 months in the custody of the Department of Corrections depending on their criminal history. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 1. Hartman is being held in the Pawnee County Jail. Her bond was set at $75,000.

Rachel Perez and Liliana Houser, both KDADS employees, are also charged in the case.

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