A former Franklin County employee charged with sexual abuse of a child is set to go on trial today in connection with the incident.
The jury trial for Eric Scrutchfield, 28, Ottawa, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Franklin County District Court, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa. The trial is scheduled for four days, with jury selection beginning this morning.
Scrutchfield was arrested in May 2011 on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child. Yvonne Scrutchfield Day Care Home, 607 N. Cedar St., a business run by Scrutchfield’s wife, was closed in May by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment because of the allegations.
At the conclusion of a three-hour preliminary hearing in November 2011, Franklin County District Judge Eric Godderz ruled there was probable cause and ordered Scrutchfield bound over for trial. Scrutchfield faces one charge each of rape, aggravated criminal sodomy and felony lewd and lascivious behavior.
The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Scrutchfield and is handling the case because of Scrutchfield’s previous employment with Franklin County, where he worked as a computer support specialist before his arrest.
Special Prosecutor Amy McGowan said during Scrutchfield’s preliminary hearing that because the alleged victim is younger than 14, Jessica’s Law applies to all three counts. If convicted, Scrutchfield would face life in prison with a minimum of 25 years time served on each count, McGowan said.
Ottawa defense attorney John Boyd is representing Scrutchfield.