Accused Of Coercing Women Into Sex And Lies To Solve Cases, ex-KCK Cop Takes The Fifth
Roger Golubski faces other legal challenges, including possible exposure to criminal prosecution, which lends added importance to any answers he might provide in a deposition.
The question put to the retired Kansas City, Kansas, detective was shocking yet straightforward.
“You understand we are accusing you of raping women and coercing women into giving false testimony, some of the grossest acts of corruption a police officer can commit, right?” lawyer Emma Freudenberger asked in a Nov. 19 deposition. “You understand that as you sit here today? This isn’t the first you are hearing of this?”
Roger Golubski, 68, had heard this before.
Golubski worked 35 years in the KCK police department, moving up the ranks from a patrol officer to a detective and later a captain investigating homicides, before retiring in 2010.
But it was in 2017, when Lamonte McIntyre was freed from prison after serving 23 years for two murders he did not commit, that questions began to arise publicly about the former cop who colleagues said had cultivated a vast network of informants.
Golubski, whose investigation led McIntyre to prison, faces allegations in a lawsuit that he used his police badge to exploit vulnerable Black women for sexual favors and coerced some of them into fabricating testimony to clear cases he investigated. In at least one instance, he is accused of repeatedly raping a woman whose children he’d promised to help get out of legal trouble.
Questions also are being raised about the department and how this kind of behavior could have gone on for so long.
It was the civil lawsuit filed by McIntyre and his mother, Rose McIntyre, who says the former detective coerced her into having sex with him, that brought Golubski to the 22nd-floor office of a Kansas City law firm in November. There he faced questions from the McIntyres’ legal team for the first time, while McIntyre and his mother watched Golubski being questioned over Zoom.
As he would do 555 times that day, Golubski declined to answer Freudenberger’s question.
“On the advice of my attorney, I invoke my Fifth Amendment Constitutional Rights,” Golubski replied, according to a deposition transcript obtained and reviewed by The Star and KCUR.
Freudenberger, a New York attorney whose law partner is attorney Barry Scheck of O.J. Simpson fame, has a track record of success representing victims of police misconduct and defendants who were wrongfully convicted. In this case, she’s part of an expansive legal team that includes lawyers from Lathrop GPM, a Kansas City-based law firm, and Cheryl Pilate and Lindsay Runnels, two Kansas City lawyers who have devoted their careers to exonerating wrongfully convicted defendants.
Pilate, Runnels and others represented McIntyre when he was exonerated three years ago after evidence showed Golubski manipulated two key witnesses to identify McIntyre as the perpetrator in the 1994 killings of Doniel Quinn and Donald Ewing in Kansas City, Kansas’ North End, even though he had no motive and there was no forensic evidence linking him to the crime.
Golubski’s attorney, Morgan Roach, declined a request seeking his client’s response to the questions raised in his deposition. In his legal response to the McIntyres’ lawsuit, Golubski has denied the accusations against him.
Freudenberger’s line of questioning portrays Golubski’s superiors in the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department as knowing about his behavior with prostitutes — many of them addicted to drugs or otherwise vulnerable to threats and coercion by police — and either looking the other way or tacitly endorsing it.
A spokeswoman for the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department said the allegations against Golubski date back 25 years, and supervisors and command personnel from that time had retired or moved on.
“The Department never received any formal complaints regarding misconduct, and there is no one currently employed by the KCKPD who has personal knowledge of this matter to be able to provide comment,” department spokeswoman Nancy Chartrand said in an email.
In addition to Golubski, the suit names the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, detectives W.K. Smith, Clyde Blood, James Brown, Dennis Ware and the estates of former Kansas City, Kansas, policemen Dennis Barber, Steve Culp and James Krstolich.
Golubski faces other legal challenges, including possible exposure to criminal prosecution, which lends added importance to any answers he might provide in a deposition.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation of sexual assault allegations against Golubski and whether he committed any crimes related to the homicides for which McIntyre was convicted. In July, the KBI said its investigation was continuing but had not uncovered any violations of Kansas law that fell within the Kansas statute of limitations.
The agency, however, said it had referred possible violations of federal law to federal authorities for their consideration.
Bridget Patton, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Kansas City field office, said she could not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, which is standard Justice Department protocol.
But testimony in McIntyre’s exoneration hearing and in other cases reveals a consistent pattern of Golubski allegedly forcing himself upon vulnerable women, Black women in particular, and threatening them if they didn’t keep silent.
As part of the McIntyres’ lawsuit, for example, a Kansas City, Kansas, woman testified that Golubski repeatedly raped her and forced her to have oral sex with him more than two decades ago.
The woman is not being identified because The Star and KCUR do not name victims of sex crimes without their consent.
Golubski, she said, hit on her as other Kansas City, Kansas, police officers conducted a search warrant at her house. Days later, she testified, Golubski returned to her home and told her he knew the district attorney and could help two of her children, who were under police investigation. As they talked, he inched closer to her on a couch, she said.
“I asked him what he was trying to do. And so I stood up. He stood up. And next thing I know, he pushed me on the couch and unzipped his pants,” she said. Then, she said, he raped her.
“I couldn’t believe he did that,” she said in her deposition. “He is supposed to be a police officer. You don’t do that to people.”
She testified that the assaults continued, both at her residence and in his police car, as the criminal case against her children was pending. She said she was too scared to report Golubski.
“I wanted to but I was scared…(t)hat he would do something to me or have somebody do something to me,” she said.
McIntyre’s exoneration, and his lawyers’ ongoing investigation of Golubski and other KCK police officers, has pried open some of the inner workings of the KCK department and the extent to which its culture allowed someone like Golubski to flourish.
In an interview last year with KCUR, former FBI special agent Alan Jennerich, who was assigned to investigate corruption in the KCK Police Department in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said that at one time 13 or 14 police officers were under investigation.
“That’s a lot of cops, because that’s a relatively small police department,” he said. “ ... And you’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg.”
Other evidence sought
Last month, McIntyre’s legal team subpoenaed the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas City, Kansas, seeking records “relating to the FBI investigation of corruption, civil rights violations, drug activity, thefts, sexual extortion, or any other illegal activity at the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department known as ‘Operation Street Smart …”
Operation Street Smart was the code name of the investigation involving Jennerich.
McIntyre’s legal team also subpoenaed the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office for a trove of records related to the investigation of the 2000 murder of Stacy Quinn, a Kansas City, Kansas woman who witnessed the April 15, 1994, double slaying of Donald Ewing and her cousin, Doniel Quinn — the murders for which the then-17-year-old McIntyre was wrongly accused and convicted.
Stacy Quinn was standing across the street from the powder blue Cadillac in which the men were killed by four shotgun blasts in broad daylight and had a direct line of sight to the shooter.
But there’s no record of Golubski, who was not a regular homicide detective in 1994 but was assigned to the case, interviewing Quinn, who did not testify at McIntyre’s trial.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Lamont (sic) McIntyre was not the shooter on April 15, 1994,” Quinn said in a sworn statement nearly two years after the slayings. She noted that McIntyre matched none of the physical characteristics of the person she saw fire into the car.
Golubski instead interviewed Ruby Mitchell and Stacy Quinn’s sister, Niko Quinn, even though both were farther away and could not see the shooter’s face.
Although Mitchell identified McIntyre as the shooter during an interview with police after the shooting and later at trial, in 2011 she said in a sworn affidavit that she may have mistakenly identified McIntyre as the perpetrator. She recalled telling police she thought the shooter looked like her niece’s ex-boyfriend, who was also named Lamonte but whose last name she couldn’t recall. She said in the same affidavit that she was fearful of Golubski because he came on to her by making comments about her body and asking if she dated white men as he drove her to the police station.
And in a sworn statement, Niko Quinn said that Golubski pressured her to identify McIntyre from an array of photos that included other members of McIntyre’s family. Part of that pressure included Golubski’s offer to find her a new apartment.
But when she saw McIntyre in the courthouse after she arrived to testify, Niko Quinn realized he was not the shooter. And when she told Terra Morehead, the prosecutor in the case, that McIntyre was the wrong man, Morehead threatened to take her children away if she did not testify, Quinn said in a 2014 affidavit.
Golubski did name Stacy Quinn in his police report as someone who could testify as a witness to the crime and identify the suspect. But he claimed he couldn’t find her.
There was likely another reason he never interviewed Stacy Quinn.
Golubski had been paying her for sex for years, according to numerous witnesses interviewed by McIntyre’s lawyers.
“Sir, you knew exactly how to find Stacy Quinn, did you not?” Freudenberger asked Golubski. “You knew exactly how to find Stacy Quinn because you had been paying her for sex for more than a decade at that point, correct?...You had been paying Stacy Quinn to have sex with you since she was 16 or 17 years old, correct?”
Golubski again invoked his right to remain silent.
Quinn’s body was found shot several times in January 2000 in the front yard of a house on the 3200 block of Farrow Avenue near Quindaro Park. She was 30 years old, according to an obituary.
Marcus Washington Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder in her slaying later that year. According to court records, the officers who investigated Quinn’s slaying were Golubski and former KCK Police Chief Terry Zeigler, who had once been Golusbki’s detective partner. Although Quinn’s murder isn’t thought to be connected to the McIntyre case, his legal team nonetheless is seeking information about her slaying from Wyandotte County prosecutors.
Golubski, a resident of Edwardsville, has lived in Wyandotte County all of his life.
Born in 1952 into a Catholic family that attended the former St. Cyril’s Church in KCK, Golubski spent four years in seminary during the Vietnam War intending to become a priest. Unlike many of his friends, he was never drafted.
“I thanked the Lord I had a high draft number,” Golubski said in his deposition, “or a low draft number, however you look at it.”
He went into law enforcement instead and landed a job with the KCKPD in 1975.
Questions about Golubski’s conduct began to arise not long after he began working as a police officer.
On March 5, 1978, a 41-year-old man named Kenneth Borg died at the former Bethany Medical Center from internal bleeding caused by a tear to his abdomen, according to an article in The Star.
Golubski, the article said, admitted to striking Borg with his nightstick as he transported him from the Gaslight Club where Borg had been drinking that night to a detoxification cell at the Kansas City, Kansas, jail.
A coroner’s jury issued a verdict saying Borg died from an accident due to a fall caused by “his own self-indulgence.” A deputy coroner testified that Golubski admitted to striking Borg in the chest, which wouldn’t have caused an abdominal injury.
There were no witnesses to back up Golubski’s account.
“Nobody saw him hit the man, so he could have lied and said he didn’t hit him at all,” Wyandotte County deputy coroner Alan Hancock told The Star at the time.
A follow-up story in the Kansas City Times in April 1978 examined the circumstances of the inquest into Borg’s death and identified a number of problems with the proceedings.
One of the jurors was married to another KCK cop and was acquainted with Golubski’s patrol partner but was still allowed to remain on the jury. And a KCK police captain was allowed to serve as a bailiff during the closed-door proceedings, which the Times report at the time described as an unusual arrangement.
Golubski passed a polygraph test. Ultimately, the inquest did not conclude what caused the injury that killed Borg, who was found unconscious in a holding cell for drunks before police took him to seek medical care.
“It’s a freak injury,” Hancock told The Times.
Golubski was suspended with pay following Borg’s death because of conflicting statements he gave to internal affairs investigators, according to The Times. The FBI investigated the matter as a possible civil rights violation but ended up not pursuing a case.
“I’m not too surprised,” Borg’s mother, Lillian Borg, told The Star at the time, having suspected a cover up. “I wonder if they (the Justice Department) were really that gung-ho about looking into it. I’m disappointed.”
In the end, Golubski was cleared.
As he climbed through the ranks and was promoted to detective, Golubski came to be known within the department for having an extensive network of sources and informants.
“He was someone that when crime was happening in the bureau, if they were looking for somebody or looking for a lead or a contact, he had again, a very extensive number of informants or confidential informants that he could go to,” former KCKPD police chief Ricky Armstrong testified in a 2012 deposition in an unrelated civil lawsuit.
Golubski was known to keep his sources secret from others in the police department. In a 2012 deposition in the same unrelated suit, former police chief Ron Miller said Golubski kept his informants “close to the vest and developed information.”
“And I don’t know that I’d call him — or not call him a team player,” Miller said.
The McIntyres’ attorneys say Golubski was given to manipulating his sources and informants, particularly Black women who were prostitutes, addicted to drugs or both. Golubski was permitted by the KCKPD to “terrorize an entire community” by using his badge to “extort sexual favors from poor black women and by coercing and manipulating those women into providing fabricated evidence to close his cases,” the McIntyres’ lawsuit alleges.
Asked in his deposition about whether he tried to force himself on McIntyre’s mother, Rose McIntyre, in his office at the KCKPD bureau, Golubski cited the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer.
“And that wasn’t the first time that had happened, that another officer walked in on you having sex in your office, correct?” Freudenberger asked, referring to a time when a different detective walked in on Golubski receiving oral sex in his office.
Again, Golubski refused to answer.
In his deposition, Miller, the former police chief, was asked about that incident, which was said to have occurred in 2004 and involved a witness performing the sex act. Miller said he could not recall.
“I would — it gives me an opportunity to say you can’t assume the chief knows everything,” Miller said.
Official records about Golubski are closely held in Wyandotte County. A search of a public database for court records in Wyandotte County District Court shows no court cases listing him as a named party.
Earlier last year, The Star submitted a Kansas Open Records Act request to the Wyandotte County District Court seeking any court cases in which Golubski was a named party. The court denied such records existed until The Star said it had independently confirmed the existence of Golubski’s divorce records and their corresponding case numbers.
Golubski has been divorced three times and another marriage was annulled, according to his deposition testimony. He has an adult son by one of his marriages.
One of Golubski’s wives said in a sworn affidavit in the case that sought to exonerate McIntyre that she met him when she worked at a downtown KCK gas station and Golubski was investigating a homicide in the area.
She said she knew nothing about the homicide but Golubski kept contacting and visiting her anyway. The two eventually married and enjoyed what she said was initially a good relationship.
She said troubling signs emerged when Golubski became controlling and kept household financial information from her. She said she believed Golubski’s family viewed her negatively because she was Black.
“I knew that Roger seemed to like African Americans, however,” she said in her affidavit. “When I asked him one day why he was attracted to black women, he replied: ‘Because they’re uneducated.’ I was stunned and very angry. I dealt with my hurt feelings by running up some big credit card bills.”
She left Golubski after confronting him about his frequent conversations with a woman who had been a witness in one of his cases, she said in a 2013 affidavit. She said Golubski continued to stalk her for 10 years following their divorce and paid a teenager to break into her house, resulting in Golubski showing up to investigate when she called police.
Armstrong, the former police chief, was asked in his 2012 deposition whether Golubski had fathered children in the community by women who were involved in drugs or prostitution.
“I did not have any knowledge that he was involved in illegal activity with — regard his personal relationships,” Armstrong said.
Ruby Ellington, a KCKPD policewoman from 1975 to 2000, said in a sworn affidavit that Golubski had a reputation for being “obsessed with prostitutes, specifically Black female prostitutes who were typically drug-addicted as well as poor and powerless.”
Ellington, who died in 2019, said Golubski made no secret of his proclivities for Black prostitutes and that many in the police department knew about it and ignored it or covered it up.
Former Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland said that Golubski’s reputation for pressuring Black women into sex was well known in the community.
In a Facebook post in August praising Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree, who was then running for reelection, Holland said that “(f)or years there were credible allegations against KCK Police Detective Roger Golubski for extorting sex from black women in the community.”
“Through his dubious testimony, Wyandotte County sent Lamonte McIntyre, a 17-year-old boy, to prison for 25 years for a crime he did not commit — paid for with taxpayer funds,” Holland wrote.
Other complaints about Golubski surfaced during his tenure with the KCKPD.
He was the subject of 13 reports, including seven administrative complaints, since 1993, according to an internal affairs summary admitted as an exhibit as part of the 2017 hearing for McIntyre’s exoneration.
The police department listed some of them as unfounded. Others resulted in no discipline, including a 2009 complaint in which a woman said Golubski and other officers searched her apartment looking for her boyfriend as part of a murder investigation.
Golubski, according to the summary, told the woman that she better tell police where her boyfriend was or he was going to “haul her Black ass in for aiding and abetting.” After noticing photos on her wall, Golubski told her that she needed to change who she was dating “because they were all criminals.”
A KCKPD major said he talked to the witnesses and concluded that the reporting person fabricated the claims.
In another complaint dating to 2005, a woman accused Golubski of putting her safety at risk by divulging to others that she was an informant in an FBI drug case that sent at least one person to prison. The complaint was “inactivated” by the police chief at the time due to a lack of cooperation from the person making the complaint.
Golubski retired from the KCKPD in 2010, collecting a full pension, and went to work for the Edwardsville Police Department as a detective.
He left the Edwardsville department in October 2016, when questions about McIntyre’s conviction and Golubski’s role in securing it were raised in the news media, including a detailed investigation by The Star.
Edwardsville Police Chief Mark Mathies said he’d received no complaints about Golubski. Mathies said Golubski simply wanted to “enjoy his life outside of law enforcement.”
Golubski later briefly worked in security at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
Freudenberger asked him about his employment there in his deposition.
“You were terminated from your job at Providence, correct?” she asked. “You were fired?”
“Correct,” Golubski replied.
When asked why he was fired, Golubski invoked the Fifth Amendment.
Providence Medical Center confirmed that Golubski had worked there but said it could not state why he left, citing privacy laws.
This article is part of a collaboration between The Kansas City Star and KCUR. Hear more about the investigation on KCUR-FM, 89.3.