PAWNEE COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — More than a year after a dangerous sex offender escaped from the Sexual Predator Treatment Program at Larned State Hospital, law enforcement officials are still waiting to learn when he will be brought back to Kansas.
Law enforcement officers say John Colt escaped on June 30, 2021, and was caught almost three months later in Utah. Last month, Colt was in a Utah federal courtroom where he pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender. A judge will sentence him in October.
Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett says that after Colt serves that federal sentence, he will finally be brought back to Kansas to face charges dealing with his escape.
The U.S. Marshals Service says Colt was sentenced on Dec. 14, 2001, to five years in state prison for aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape, aggravated burglary, and four counts of aggravated battery against law enforcement. In addition, he was required to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life.
After his criminal sentence was completed, the Kansas courts deemed him a sexually violent predator at high risk of committing a future sex offense and too dangerous to be released. He was indefinitely committed and sent to Larned’s Sexual Predator Treatment Program in 2007 until the escape last year.
Investigators believe Colt planned his escape several months in advance, obtaining a replica of a staff ID badge and dress clothes. The morning of the escape, they say he shaved off his long hair and beard, put blankets under his bed covers, and made it appear he was still in bed sleeping.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Colt convinced a new staff worker that he was a new doctor who needed help finding his way out. Authorities say Colt was able to make his way past five secured doors and ultimately outside the gates.
The Pawnee County attorney said Colt is currently charged under Kansas law with aggravated escape from custody. McNett also said Colt is still subject to being committed to the Kansas Sexual Predator Treatment Program.