Bondsman faces new trafficking charges

5/15/2013

By DARCY GRAY

By DARCY GRAY

Special to the Telegram

Prosecutors have filed two new charges of aggravated human trafficking against a Hutchinson bondsman already accused of trafficking and sexually assaulting women while working as a bonding agent.

Court records indicate the two charges were filed Friday against Dwight C. Jurgens, whose bonding privileges with TNT Bonding have been suspended pending the resolution of the criminal case.

Jurgens, 66, is now charged with four counts of aggravated human trafficking, aggravated criminal sodomy, rape, and two counts of attempted aggravated human trafficking. The crimes are all alleged to have occurred between February 2010 and September 2012, and involve three alleged victims, according to the complaint filed in Reno County District Court by Deputy District Attorney Tom Stanton.

A preliminary hearing for Jurgens is scheduled for Thursday, when a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

The aggravated human trafficking charges allege that Jurgens knowingly coerced employment by obtaining services performed by (the alleged victim) "through abusing or threatening to abuse the law or legal process committed in whole or in part for the purpose of sexual gratification of the defendant," the complaint states.

The rape charge alleges the crime occurred when a woman was incapable of giving consent because she was under the influence of alcoholic liquor or drugs.

Stanton previously told The News all of the charges "are directly related to (Jurgens') bond business."

Six of the charges are severity level-1 felonies, which upon conviction carry a sentence of between 12 and 54 years in prison. The attempted trafficking charges are severity level-3 felonies, each carrying potential sentences of between four and 20 years in prison.

Jurgens was a crime reporter at The Hutchinson News between 1995 and 2001, and also previously worked at The Garden City Telegram and KSN-TV in Wichita. He was arrested in March and posted a $100,000 bond to be released from jail.

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