GARDEN CITY — A trial has been scheduled for a former Garden City police officer charged with six counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child after he pleaded not guilty to all the charges Wednesday in Finney County District Court.
A jury trial for Doug Heit, 50, has been set for Nov. 18 to 22. A pre-trial conference has been set for 9 a.m. Oct. 24. If convicted, Heit could face 25 years to life in prison on each charge.
Heit appeared before District Court Judge Michael Quint for arraignment Wednesday, alongside his attorney, Steve Cott. Garden City attorney Lucille Douglass is also helping represent Heit. Assistant Attorney General Melissa Johnson is the lead prosecutor.
Jury selection is scheduled for Nov. 18, the state is expected to present witnesses Nov. 19 and 20, and the defense will present witnesses on Nov. 21. The all-day proceedings will begin at 9 a.m. each day.
Garden City police arrested Heit on Sept. 23, 2018, on two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and passed the case to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to avoid any conflict of interest.
In October, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint accusing Heit of fondling or touching a child younger than 14 on six different occasions and charged him with six counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
According to the complaint, all the incidents took place in Finney County and involved the same child, who was born in 2009. The complaint states that four incidents took place between Aug. 1 and 25, 2018, one was on Sept. 21, 2018, and one happened between Sept. 22 and 23, 2018.
Heit was a Garden City police officer from July 2003 to March 2017, when he transitioned to an evidence technician position at the department. He left the department on Aug. 15, 2018. He received Gold Awards of Valor from the police department and Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police for his role in saving a woman’s life when responding to an attempted murder in January 2010.
Heit waived his right to a preliminary hearing in January and was denied a request to move out of Finney County in March.