Metro father furious to learn teen he says attacked his daughter is implicated in more sex crimes
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. – A metro father is frustrated after learning the same young man he says pleaded guilty to assaulting his daughter four years ago is now charged with preying on two more underage girls.
The accused is now an adult so his charges are public. Eighteen-year-old Kessler Lichtenegger faces a list of sex-related charges in Johnson County.
Lichtenegger made his first court appearance in Johnson County on a newer case in which prosecutors say Lichtenegger sexually assaulted two girls who are sisters, both under the age of 14.
FOX 4 talked with the father of a girl who he says he’s familiar with Lichtenegger’s past. He’s angry to learn the suspect may have victimized girls again.
FOX 4 did not use names or faces in this story to protect the family. The father said that in 2011, Lichtenegger dragged his special-needs daughter into a storm drain and attacked her. When the girl didn`t come home, her father drove over the bridge on top of the storm drain looking for her.
“All the nightmare of the last three years came rushing back,” he said.
It`d been almost four years since his daughter`s attack. He says when Lichtenegger surfaced in a recent case this month, it all came back.
“I fell back in my chair and I can`t tell you the amount of emotions: the anger, the rage, the confusion,” he said.
More alleged victims, another case charged.
“I started to relate to that poor family and that`s when the dad in me kicked in,” he said.
This forced him to relive his daughter`s case.
In 2011, his daughter was supposed to walk home from Shawnee Mission East High School after she`d stopped for a parade.
“I was panicked. I didn`t understand why she wasn`t, she didn`t even show up at the parade march,” he said.
The dad says he called police and went searching for his girl and wound up at Windsor Park: a place his 15-year-old daughter liked to go.
“They were down in there but I didn`t see them. They were under the street,” he said.
Under the street in a concrete tunnel where he says police told him she was attacked, his daughter`s darkest moments.
“Her clothes were torn up and she had abrasions on her knee and one of her elbows. Her shirt was ripped, her back was all scratched up,” he said.
The dad says police found the girl in a catatonic state, hiding behind a portable bathroom. “She finally started to cry and she ran up and she let me hold her. And that`s when she said, ‘why did he hurt me? Why did he hurt me?’”
The father says the months that followed involved court and repeated attempts to get his daughter back in school; the place where her attacker also attended classes. “We tried to ease her into school back on campus and she had a couple of contacts with him, and she had a meltdown and we had to pull her and put her into hospitalization.”
The family paid to put her in another school. The dad says Lichtnegger pled to an assault charge. The dad says his daughter didn’t have to face her attacker in court.
“My daughter was not in good shape. She was not in a good place mentally, compounded by her special needs,” he said.
A father now motivated to protect others, “I don`t know how far we`ll get, but I owe it to my daughter and all the other daughters and sons out there to not let this happen again. It`s not going to happen on my watch.”