A conflict brings a Delaware County case to Ottawa County District Court involving a former Delaware County bailiff Kip Jerome Shotpouch, 33, of Jay charged in June for sending sexually suggestive texts to a 15-year-old girl.
On Sept. 25 the defendant appeared in Delaware County Court with his attorney Jason Smith and all parties agreed to return at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29 for a preliminary hearing before Judge Robert Reavis in Ottawa County District Court.
“We haven't actually changed venue technically, the case hasn't really been transferred from Delaware County to Ottawa County," said Delaware and Ottawa County District Attorney Kenny Wright, when reached by phone. "What's happened is Judge [Robert] Haney asked Judge Reavis and he agreed to handle the case."
Wright explained the case will be heard in Ottawa County before Reavis by agreement of all parties to comply with the canons of judicial conduct and ethical rules to avoid and prohibit any kind of sense of impropriety due to Shotpouch's service as former bailiff in Delaware County for years.
“That way there's just no question that he has a fair and impartial judge,” Wright said. “This will be the first significant step in the litigation.”
Up until this point, Shotpouch's case has been in the legal procedural announcement stages, according to Wright, and will now move on to the next step, the preliminary hearing.
About the charges
Shotpouch faces charges from Delaware County District Court of lewd or indecent proposals to a child under 16. He was arrested in July and released on a $35,000 bail.
In April 2016, the victim’s mother showed authorities screen shots of text messages where Shotpouch indicated he wanted to pick the victim up from behind the local health clinic and take her to his house for sexual activity, according to an arrest affidavit filed in connection to the case.
Later that same month, Shotpouch began communicating with the victim through the Facebook Messenger app asking her age, to which the victim replied that she was 15, investigators stated in the affidavit filed in Delaware County. Shotpouch asked the teen if she was a virgin and he stated, “I always got beer,” as reported in the affidavit.
The victim’s mother texted Shotpouch confronting him about the previous texts to which Shotpouch apologized saying he was drunk and the texts would cease, and Shotpouch was described in the affidavit by the teen’s mother as a “family friend for several years” when she worked at the Delaware County Courthouse.
During the times the victim would be at her mother’s workplace, Shotpouch would refer to the victim as “his courthouse rat,” according to statements in the affidavit.
The victim’s mother texted Shotpouch saying, “Trust me it’s unforgotten” and “I’ve known you for a long time and that is the only reason why I’m not going to the DA,” the affidavit states.
In a related matter, a Delaware County Sheriff’s Department incident report dated April 2016 indicated Shotpouch was under investigation for allegedly abusing his position as a bailiff.
Shotpouch was accused of coercing women sentenced to drug court into having sexual relations with him, believing he had the power to revoke their status in drug court, the report states.
No charges have been filed in that investigation.
In June, Shotpouch was arrested in West Siloam Springs, for driving under the influence (municipal), improper driving on a divided highway, and attempting to elude a police officer, all misdemeanors. He was released on a $4,000 bond. That case has also been set before Reavis, at 1:30 p.m., on Nov. 29, in Ottawa County District Court.
Shotpouch resigned from his position as bailiff in Delaware County Special Judge Alicia Littlefield's courtroom in May 2016.