GROVE, Okla. – A Grove sex offender has filed a civil lawsuit seeking $1 million against a Kansas sheriff saying his “good reputation” was ruined after a social media site post alerted the public to the man’s activities.
Kirk William Owen, 65, is being held in the Beaver County, Oklahoma jail on no bail on an application to revoke a suspended sentence. He was taken into custody in Miami after a protective court hearing where he sought to have a relationship with a child.
Owen filed the lawsuit in Kansas Federal Court on Sept. 2 against Danny Smith, Crawford County Sheriff and Lisa Lusker, Crawford County Court Clerk.
The lawsuit will be turned over to the Crawford County counselor.
Smith had no comment about the lawsuit.
Smith is accused of posting on a social media site photographs of Owen and his white corvette saying he was wanted for questioning by the Crawford County, Kansas Sheriff’s Office. In July, Owen was seen – wearing only underwear and a shirt – driving a white convertible Corvette and had contacted several male juveniles at a park in Cherokee, Kansas. He allegedly gave them large bags of candy in exchange for the children telling him their home addresses.
Owen is seeking $750,000 for the loss of his reputation “the most valuable thing a person has,” according to the 6-page complaint.
He is also seeking $200,000 for extreme emotional stress from fear of threats and $50,000 in punitive damages, the complaint states.
Owen’s complaint against the sheriff states Smith posted “many false statements” and “asked if anyone has infor [information] or whereabouts of Owen” to call the Crawford County Sheriff’s office. Owen also complained Crawford County deputy Chris Hall came to Owen’s Grove home which was prohibited because Hall crossed the state line, the complaint states.
Hall went to Owen’s Grove residence with a Grove Police officer.
The post was shared over 4,100 times and picked up by news outlets.
Owen stated he has received over 20 death threats, the complaint states.
The registered sex offender is seeking to have the post removed and an apology posted on the social media site stating there were no allegations of “luring or attempted abduction,” the complaint states.
“He (Smith) is doing this maliciously” and with intent “to hurt me,” the complaint states.
Owen requested a jury trial to be held in Wichita, the complaint states.
He was previously convicted on January 5, 1987, in Sedgwick County, Kansas of lewd behavior, online records show.
Oklahoma legal problems
Owen was charged in 2000 in Beaver County District Court in Beaver, Oklahoma with seven counts of lewd molestation. In 2002, he pleaded no contest to two charges and was sentenced to a 20-year suspended sentence and fined $2,500, according to online records.
A 2006 court order stated Owen had successfully completed probation but continues to be on an unsupervised basis.
After Owen was taken into custody on Thursday and taken to Beaver County jail his 2000 case was sealed and restricted per a judge’s court order.
It is not the policy of KSN/KODE to identify juveniles or in this case the family of the juvenile.
Owen was in Ottawa County District Court in Miami seeking a protective order against him dismissed after a father sought to prevent Owen from being around his then 11-year-old son.
Owen was sending gifts and leaving messages, including a sexually explicit message, for the child at the family’s home, court records show.
The registered sex offender filed a motion to dismiss the protective order saying there was no victim and the protective order sets a bad precedent because it allows parents “the sole purpose in choosing who the victim can be friends with or date,” according to court papers filed by Owen.
Court documents show Owen sent text messages to the victim’s family saying he “would be a great role model” and the child would benefit from his “experiences and wisdom.”
Owen’s court documents say the registered sex offender owns a $300,000 Grove lake home, receives oil royalties and has a Porsche.