State v. Wilson

267 Kan. 550 (1999)

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State v. Wilson

Kansas Supreme Court
267 Kan. 550 (1999)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD

Facts

In February 1997, Gloria and Steven Wilson (defendants) moved into a new home. Gloria’s brother, JR, JR’s former partner, SO, and their five-year-old daughter, LO, also lived in the home. Gloria and Steven witnessed SO and others frequently abuse LO. In April 1997, the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) received a report that LO was being abused and went to the home to investigate. SRS was not given permission to go inside the home, and Gloria falsely stated that LO was away visiting her aunt. SRS then obtained a warrant to search the home for LO. SRS executed the warrant the following day and found LO inside the home. LO was severely malnourished; covered in scratches, bruises, and burn marks; unable to stand because of multiple injuries; and covered in urine. The State of Kansas (plaintiff) charged those living at the home with child endangerment. Gloria moved to dismiss the charge on the ground that the state’s child-endangerment statute was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The motion was denied. Steven moved to dismiss on the ground that he could not be convicted of child endangerment because he had no duty to report the abuse and did not cause or permit LO to be placed in an abusive situation. The motion was denied. Gloria and Steven were convicted. The matter was appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Larson, J.)

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