Judge denies motion to try Mayetta teen as adult

By Brian Sanders

A Mayetta teen charged with three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child will not be tried as an adult in Jackson County District Court.

Magistrate Judge Blaine Carter on Friday denied a motion to try Weston Hasty, 16, as an adult on the three charges based on inci­dents that reportedly occurred at a Mayetta day care center in June. Hasty’s case, filed as a juvenile docket, will return to district court on Nov. 20 for a status hearing.

The motion to try Hasty as an adult was filed in July by Jackson County Attorney Shawna Miller, who argued that probable cause had been established regarding the al­leged June incidents that reportedly involved inappropriate sexual con­tact with a 3-year-old girl at the day care center. The day care center, operated at the time by Hasty’s mother, Judy Hasty, has since been closed.

Hasty’s attorney, James Heath­man of Topeka, argued that while the charges against Hasty were se­rious and that there was “no argu­ment” with probable cause, there were some “noteworthy elements” to consider in the case. The alleged offenses, Heathman said, were committed without “force, violence or aggression,” and Hasty had ad­mitted that his reported actions were wrong.

“He’s a juvenile,” Heathman said of Hasty. “He should be tried as a juvenile.”

Furthermore, Heathman said the “presumption of adulthood” against Hasty had been “rebutted” through the youth’s sessions with Lenexa psychologist Bruce Cappo, who re­ported that Hasty showed “no signs of mental illness” and that he was a “low risk” for similar incidents in the future. Hasty, Cappo said, was “self-criti­cal to himself” about the alleged actions when they occurred, and his thought processes at the time were “not that of an adult.”

Still, Miller said, Hasty had been “placed in a position of trust” to take care of the 3-year-old girl at the time the alleged offenses oc­curred, and therefore presented a risk to society. And regardless of the fact that there was no force or aggression involved, she said Hasty did not take the age difference be­tween himself and the girl into con­sideration when the incidents oc­curred.

According to testimony pre­sented by Al Dunn and Andy Cavi­ness, detectives with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, a Jackson County resident had filed a report that “his daughter had been molested,” Dunn said, and a “safe talk” was conducted with the girl in question. The girl said Hasty had engaged in lewd fondling or touching in the alleged offenses, which reportedly occurred between June 9 and June 12, Dunn said.

The alleged offenses reportedly happened in Hasty’s bedroom while older children at the day care center were at swimming lessons, Dunn said, and evidence from the bedroom was collected. Following Hasty’s arrest, Caviness added, the youth acknowledged that his ac­tions were wrong and that he was “embarrassed” in talking about what happened between him and the girl.

Cappo said during his evaluation of Hasty, the youth attempted to “block it out after what happened” and that “he had some difficulties” in discussing the alleged actions and “tried to forget it because he felt he was misbehaving.” But when Heathman asked Cappo if his evaluation of Hasty gave him enough information to render an opinion of the youth, Cappo replied that his opinion was that Hasty’s juvenile status should not be waived.

Carter agreed and called in Dis­trict Court Judge Micheal Ireland to set a date for a status hearing. Ire­land said the Nov. 20 hearing was “not really an arraignment, but we will treat it as such.”

Hasty remains on house arrest and is required to be monitored electronically, it was reported. No minor children are allowed in the home, according to court docu­ments.