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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Dodge City math teacher appears in court

  • A middle school math teacher from Dodge City has been ordered to stay away from various locations frequented by unsupervised young children, per conditions of a bond agreement.
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  • A middle school math teacher from Dodge City has been ordered to stay away from various locations frequented by unsupervised young children, per conditions of a bond agreement.
    Joshua Lesser, 25, appeared in court Thursday on 13 charges of sexual exploitation of a child and was notified that he is not allowed on the grounds of any schools, arcades, swimming pools, playgrounds, parks, malls or movie theaters.
    "All of these conditions are important to ensure the safety of the public, especially underage children," Assistant Ford County Attorney David Belling said during the hearing.
    Belling went on to say that there is no evidence Lesser has actually "done anything" with any minors, but said in cases of this nature there is always a concern. The evidence against Lesser appears to be pictures and videos downloaded off the Internet, Belling added.
    Consequently, his bond conditions also stipulate he not use a computer and only have access to the Internet for purposes of e-mailing his Wichita-based attorney.
    Lesser, who sat with his hands folded in a tense, white-knuckle fashion during the hearing, was arrested April 19 on a warrant filed by the Ford County Detention Center. He was released on $50,000 bond the following day. The charges against him stem from his alleged possession of explicit images and videos of children under 18 years of age. The content was found on a laptop and computer tower belonging to Lesser, according to court documents.
    Lesser teaches 6th to 8th grade math at Dodge City Middle School according to the USD 443 website. He was suspended from his teaching position immediately pending a full investigation by local authorities, according to a representative from the school district. In the time since his arrest, the district has issued a letter to parents about the investigation. Yvonda Acker, public information officer for Dodge City Public Schools, described the 25-year-old as "well-respected by his peers and administration and well liked by his students."
    If convicted, Lesser could be sentenced to 136 months in prison for each of the 13 counts, depending on his past criminal history. A search of his name at the Ford County Courthouse did not reveal any past offenses in Ford County.
    Lesser is set to appear in court May 29 for a preliminary hearing.

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