Former KCKPD Detective Roger Golubski Arrested by FBI, Charged with Sexual Assault and Kidnapping
A federal grand jury indicted former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective Roger Golubski on Thursday, charging him with six counts of depriving two individuals of their civil rights and accusing him of sexual assault, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping.
Golubski was arrested early Thursday morning by FBI agents, who descended on his home in Edwardsville, Kansas.
The six-count indictment alleges Golubski sexually assaulted an individual identified as S.K. in 1998 and another individual identified as O.W. in 1999.
In the first case, Golubski is accused of forcibly performing oral sex on, forcibly having oral sex with, or penetrating S.K. "on multiple occasions" while in or next to Golubski's vehicle. In the second case, he is accused of sexually assaulting O.W. while in O.W.'s house.
A nearby resident said about six vehicles and an ambulance pulled up to Golubski’s house around 6:30 a.m. Thursday. The resident, who asked not to be named, happened to be awake at the time. The resident was told to go back into their house, but the resident said they saw Golubski taken into custody in one of the vehicles.
“I saw them handcuff him and pat him down,” the resident said.
Golubski appears in court
Golubski was arraigned on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Rachel Schwartz in Topeka.
Golubski entered the courtroom wearing the dark blue t-shirt and light blue athletic shorts that he was wearing when FBI agents arrested him. He had restraints around his wrists and ankles.
Schwartz appointed Topeka criminal defense attorney Tom Lemon to represent Golubski, who said little during the hearing. The court entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Federal prosecutor Stephen Hunting told Schwartz that the government wants Golubski to remain in custody until he stands trial.
Lemon responded that Golubski has serious health issues, including renal failure requiring dialysis three to four days a week.
"He's been told that if he misses six dialysis treatments, he would die," Lemon said.
Golubski underwent quintuple bypass heart surgery in April and goes to rehab on days that he's not receiving dialysis, Lemon said. Golubski is also diabetic and depends on insulin and other medication.
"If he doesn't receive that daily treatment, I don't know if he can assist in his own defense," Lemon said.
Schwartz agreed to hold a detention hearing on Monday afternoon to discuss whether Golubski should remain in detention. Until then, he will remain in the custody of U.S. marshals, who escorted him out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
Lemon declined to comment after the hearing.
Federal grand jury investigates
Golubski, 69, has been the object of a federal grand jury investigation for more than a year.
KCUR confirmed the FBI investigation last January, obtaining subpoenas from a federal grand jury, which demanded that the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department hand over records covering two decades of homicide cases, internal affairs reports and informant files as part of what appeared to be a wide-ranging investigation.
The subpoenas revealed a search for information on homicide cases that covered the years Golubski worked as a KCKPD detective, through 2010, the year he retired from the department.
The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department confirmed last October that it had responded to FBI subpoenas “regarding allegations made against Roger Golubski.”
Similarly, David Alvey, then the mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, confirmed at the time that the Unified Government had been cooperating with federal authorities since 2019 but hadn’t commented publicly to protect the integrity of the investigation.
Golubski worked for the KCK Police Department for 35 years, retiring as a captain in 2010. For years, he has been the subject of allegations that he terrorized Black residents of the city, sexually assaulted women and exchanged drugs for information in order to clear cases.
In June, the Unified Government agreed to pay $12.5 million to settle a civil rights suit brought by Lamonte McIntyre, who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than 24 years for a double slaying he didn't commit.
The lawsuit named Golubski, various KCK police officers and the Unified Government. Golubski allegedly framed the then-17-year-old McIntyre for the double homicide in 1994.
When deposed by McIntyre's lawyers, Golubski invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination hundreds of times.
Emma Freudenberger, the lawyer who deposed Golubski, said in an email that she was "glad to see this step toward accountability for some of the harm he’s done."
"But this kind of corruption doesn’t happen in secret, and Golubski clearly made no effort to hide who he was," Freudenberger, a partner in the New York law firm of Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, said. "If anything, the record in the McIntyres’ civil case shows that he flaunted it. I hope that there will be a full investigation into who in the department knew what Golubski was doing and looked the other way, or worse."
The FBI has offered a reward for information on one of the women linked to Golubski, Rhonda Tribue, a Black woman who was killed in 1998 and whose case remains unsolved. Last July, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation handed over to federal authorities information from its own probe into sexual assault allegations against Golubski.
Niko Quinn, whom Golubski allegedly forced to lie to secure McIntyre's conviction, said the former detective had haunted her life dating back to the double murders in 1994. His arrest, she said, means she can finally put that ghost to bed.
"I can rest," Quinn said. "I can rest knowing he's behind bars. I can sleep. I am tired of running."
Kansas City, Kansas, activists who have clamored for Golubski's prosecution reacted with jubilation to the news of his arrest.
Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE 2 ) called the arrest "well deserved and a long time in the making."
"Now it is time for systemic accountability and reckoning. Now, it is time to overhaul the systems that have allowed for this to occur," the group said in a statement.
“You know, I’ve been having a feeling for the past week like something is coming … it took over three decades, thirty years of this man living like he is a law-abiding citizen and he is one of the biggest criminals we have in Wyandotte County," said Violet Martin, an executive board member of MORE 2 who says her brother and cousin were wrongfully incarcerated because of Golubski.
Rev. Rick Behrens, of Grandview Park Presbyterian Church and a board member of MORE2, said, "This is a huge step toward justice for victims of Golubski. Those who enabled and sheltered him including the criminal court system, KCKPD and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County should also be held accountable. The arrest of Golubski is huge, but our community is still faced with the need for truth and reconciliation in light of all the pain, injustice and evil we have allowed under our watch in this Beloved Community of God's Children."
Many activists in Kansas City, Kansas, have long called for a full-scale investigation by the U.S. Justice Department of Golubski and the police department.
In a statement, Tricia Bushnell, director of the Midwest Innocence Project, called Golubski's arrest "just a beginning."
"... We know that true justice demands more," she said. "A full investigation into the abuses in Wyandotte County and systemic reforms are needed to ensure that no other police officers and public officials can continue to abuse their power. We have hope that those steps are to come and are hopeful for a future that includes justice for victims and truth and reconciliation for the Wyandotte County community."
The Office of Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree Sr. issued a statement saying it had worked "continuously with multiple agencies, including the FBI," since 2017 "to bring about justice in this matter."
"It is our hope that today's arrest is the start of the healing and closure process for the affected families who may feel that justice delayed is justice denied," the statement said. "This arrest shows that no one is above the law."
It was Dupree, who was elected in January 2016, who made the decision not to contest McIntyre’s innocence midway through McIntyre's exoneration hearing in 2017.
This story was reported by Dan Margolies and Peggy Lowe of KCUR and Steve Vockrodt of Midwest Newsroom. It appears here via the Kansas News Service, a consortium of public media outlets reporting on public policy matters that affect people throughout the region.