Former Great Bend High School track coach Todd Eric Kaiser Thursday morning entered a plea of no contest on a charge of sexual exploitation of a child. Sentencing has been set for 9 a.m. June 23 in Barton Count District Court.
It was in Courtroom B that Kaiser, 55 of Great Bend, and his attorney Jane Isern stood before 20th Judicial District Magistrate Judge Rick Burgess to enter the negotiated plea. Kaiser also waived his preliminary hearing.
Burgess reminded the defendant that by pleading no contest, he also waived his right to a trial and to appeal the judge’s final ruling. Kaiser acknowledged this.
Now, there will be a pre-sentencing investigation, Burgess said. The charge is a level-five person felony and carries a maximum sentence of 136 months (11 years, four months) in prison and a minimum of 31 months, depending on criminal history. There will also be the potential for probation and post-release supervision.
In addition, Kaiser has three business days from his plea date to register as a sexual offender under the Kansas Offender Registration Act. This follows him wherever he lives or works, and he must reregister in another community if he moves.
County Attorney Amy Mellor read a summary of the charge during the hearing. It stated that on June 6, 2016, a search warrant was issued for Kaiser’s cellular telephone.
On the phone was found a nude picture of a minor, identified in court only by initials.
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. The case reportedly involved sexting, a term that refers to sending sexually explicit photos, images, text message or emails by using a cell phone or other mobile device.
He was arrested June 6, 2016, but posted a $100,000 surety bond and was released. This remains in effect.
At the time incident, Kaiser was a 54-year-old PE teacher at Eisenhower School, head cross country coach, winter weights coach, track head coach and driver’s ed teacher for Great Bend USD 428. He had worked for the school district since 1987.
The juvenile involved was currently not a resident of Barton County.
The school district immediately suspended Kaiser and issued a statement that he would not have further contact with USD 428 students, programs or facilities. His resignation was accepted the following week.