State v. Loganbill

Citation518 P.3d 437
Docket Number124,559
Decision Date23 September 2022
Parties STATE of Kansas, Appellee, v. James Dick LOGANBILL, Appellant.
CourtCourt of Appeals of Kansas

Carl E. Cornwell, of Olathe, for appellant.

Jacob M. Gontesky, assistant district attorney, Stephen M. Howe, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for appellee.

Before Green, P.J., Isherwood and Coble, JJ.

Green, J.:

James Dick Loganbill contends that there is insufficient evidence to support his reckless stalking conviction based on his interpretation of the reckless stalking statute, K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5427(a)(1). According to Loganbill, K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5427(a)(1) requires the reckless stalking victim, who is called the "targeted person" under the statute, to fear for his safety, her safety, or a family member's safety as the accused engages in the course of conduct proving stalking. Also, he argues that his disputed behavior did not constitute a course of conduct that could prove stalking under K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5427(f)(1), which defines the term course of conduct. Alternatively, he argues that K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5427(a)(1)'s plain statutory language is unconstitutionally vague because it allows the targeted person's subjective fear to control what constitutes a course of conduct proving stalking.

Nevertheless, there are several loose notions with Loganbill's arguments. His suggested statutory interpretation of K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5427 is not supported by the clear text of this statute. In addition to ignoring contrary Kansas Supreme Court precedent, Loganbill's arguments are baseless as a matter of fact and wrong as a matter of law. As a result, we conclude that sufficient evidence supports Loganbill's reckless stalking conviction under a proper interpretation of K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5427 and under Loganbill's suggested flawed interpretation of K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5427. Thus, we affirm Loganbill's reckless stalking conviction.


Loganbill was a teacher in the Olathe school district for many years. During the 2019-2020 school year, Loganbill worked as a fourth-grade teacher. A.A., who was 10 years old, was in Loganbill's fourth-grade class.

A.M. and A.J., who were A.A.'s friends, were also in Loganbill's class.

Throughout the school year, A.A., A.M., and A.J. observed that Loganbill gave A.A. special treatment. For example, they noted that A.A. would not get in trouble when she did something wrong, like talking in class, while other students would get in trouble for the same misbehavior. A.A. noticed that unlike other students, Loganbill would specifically invite her to eat lunch with him. Additionally, A.A. noticed that she got extra help on her schoolwork. For instance, A.A. was able to use a calculator on her math tests while her classmates could not.

Although A.A. noticed this favoritism, A.A. did not question Loganbill's interest in her since it meant that he was "understanding" of her mistakes on schoolwork. Likewise, K.A., who was A.A.'s mother, did not question Loganbill's favoritism because A.A. had told her that Loganbill saw her as a role model for her classmates. A.A. even told K.A. that this was why he had her sit at the front of the class near him. Of note, from August 2019 to March 2020, A.A. sat directly in front of Loganbill's desk, with her back facing Loganbill. Meanwhile, A.M.'s desk was directly across from A.A.'s desk. So, A.M.'s desk faced both A.A.'s and Loganbill's desks.

In addition to this partiality, A.A. observed that Loganbill seemed interested in the fact that she was a competitive dancer. Loganbill would bring up A.A.’s dancing "almost every single day." Loganbill sometimes talked to A.A. about watching her dance performances that K.A. had posted on YouTube. He asked her where her dance studio was located. Once when Loganbill overheard A.A. talking to her classmates about having a dance competition that weekend, Loganbill asked A.A. where her competition was located. Also, once after seeing A.A. and her friends practicing "leg holds," a stretch that requires a person to hold his or her leg up to his or her ear, Loganbill asked A.A. and her friends to compete who could hold their leg up the longest.

When Loganbill had A.A. and her friends have the leg hold competition, he filmed it on either his cell phone or iPad. This was not unusual behavior for Loganbill. A.A., A.M., and A.J. all noticed that Loganbill often had his cell phone or iPad out. Loganbill told A.A. that he was filming the class in case anybody misbehaved. He explained to A.A. that by filming the class, he would have proof of the misbehavior to show the offending student's parents later on. Yet, as the school year advanced, A.M. became concerned about Loganbill's cell phone and iPad use. She noticed that Loganbill "kept staring at [A.A.'s] butt a lot," which he also appeared to frequently photograph or film. Once, when A.A. stood up to adjust her pants, A.M. "noticed [that Loganbill] grabbed his phone and ... pointed his phone at [A.A.'s] butt."

On Friday, March 6, 2020, because she was concerned about Loganbill's behavior, A.M. told A.J. that she believed that Loganbill might be photographing or filming A.A.'s buttocks. A.J. immediately told K.B., her mother, about A.M.'s allegation against Loganbill. Still, because A.J. had not seen Loganbill photograph or film A.A. herself, K.B. did not immediately notify the school's principal about A.M.'s allegation. Rather, she waited until the end of the day, Monday, March 9, 2020, to tell the principal that A.M. and A.J. believed that Loganbill was photographing and filming A.A.'s buttocks. After school that day, A.J. told her that she had seen Loganbill angle his cellphone at A.A.'s buttocks while studying math.

Once K.B. told the principal that A.M. and A.J. believed that Loganbill was photographing and filming A.A.'s buttocks, the principal immediately contacted the school district's safety service officer. The safety service officer, in turn, started investigating A.M.'s and A.J.'s allegation against Loganbill. But in an attempt (1) to further investigate A.M.'s and A.J.'s allegation against Loganbill and (2) to prevent Loganbill from destroying any evidence on his cell phone or iPad, the safety service officer told the principal to not tell Loganbill about the investigation. For this same reason, the principal told A.M. and A.J. to not tell A.A. about their allegation against Loganbill. Also, it seems for this same reason, the school allowed Loganbill to continue teaching.

The March 10, 2020 school day started normally for A.A. But during lunch, A.A. overheard A.J. ask A.M., "Did you tell the principal yet?" A.M. responded, "Yes." Upon hearing this, A.A. asked A.M. and A.J. what they were talking about. A.M. and A.J. initially resisted A.A.'s request. Yet, once on the playground for recess, A.M. and A.J. told A.A. that they believed that Loganbill was photographing and filming her from the "waist down."

When A.M. and A.J. told A.A. that Loganbill was photographing and filming her buttocks, at first, she did not want to believe them. But when she realized that "they weren't joking around," she started crying.

Following recess, A.A., A.M., and A.J. decided to "test" whether Loganbill would photograph or film her when she got up to get a tissue from across the room. During that test, A.M. and A.J. saw Loganbill "take out his phone and move the camera" towards A.A. As a result, A.M. and A.J. told A.A. to sit down immediately, which she did.

When K.A. picked up A.A. from school on March 10, 2020, A.A. could not stop crying. A.A. told K.A "that something really bad had happened at school that day, at recess, and that she didn't feel comfortable talking about it in front of her brother and sister," who were in the car. She also told K.A. that her stomach hurt. Once away from her siblings, A.A. explained everything that had happened that day to K.A. At this point, K.A. immediately contacted the principal, who confirmed the ongoing investigation into Loganbill for photographing and filming A.A.'s buttocks.

Before the school day started on March 11, 2020, the principal and safety service officer met with Loganbill. When the principal and safety service officer confronted Loganbill about photographing and filming A.A.'s buttocks, Loganbill admitted that he had done so throughout the school year. Loganbill told the principal and safety service officer that he was attracted to A.A. He explained that he particularly liked when A.A. wore black leggings to school. Also, Loganbill willingly gave the principal and the safety service officer access to his cell phone and iPad. When they searched his cell phone and iPad, they found numerous photos and videos that focused on A.A.'s buttocks. Regarding the videos specifically, the safety service officer noticed that many of the videos zoomed in on A.A.'s buttocks or were of A.A.'s buttocks as she bounced on a medicine ball chair that Loganbill allowed her to use instead of a standard chair.

Because the principal and safety service officer were concerned that Loganbill's conduct was criminal, they contacted the Olathe Police Department at the end of the meeting. Once the police arrived at the elementary school, Loganbill voluntarily left with them, agreeing to a formal interview with a detective at the police station. During that voluntary interview, Loganbill once again admitted to photographing and filming A.A.'s buttocks. He told the detective that he realized that his behavior was "creepy" and that "it was something he shouldn't have done." By the conclusion of its investigation, the police found 210 photos and 31 videos of A.A.'s buttocks. None of the photos of A.A. showed her face.

Based on Loganbill's conduct, the State charged Loganbill with reckless stalking in violation of K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 21-5427(a)(1). This provision stated that a person recklessly stalks another by "[r]ecklessly engaging in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause a...

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