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Now-retired KCK police detective Roger Golubski has been accused of putting an innocent man in jail and terrorizing Black women for decades. KCUR 89.3 and the Midwest Newsroom will continue to follow developments.

A year after his arrest, victims of Roger Golubski grow frustrated waiting for their day in court

Roger Golubski, a retired Kansas City, Kansas Police Department detective, was arrested in September by the FBI on charges that he kidnapped and raped two women. Federal prosecutors have accused him of a pattern of abuse. Photo by Carlos Moreno.
Chandler Johnson
Roger Golubski, a retired Kansas City, Kansas Police Department detective, was arrested by the FBI in September 2022 on charges that he kidnapped and raped two women. Federal prosecutors have accused him of a pattern of abuse. Photo by Carlos Moreno.

The disgraced Kansas City, Kansas Police detective, who faces civil rights charges of sexual assault and kidnapping, is set to be back in federal court Wednesday. The apparent lack of progress in his case has frustrated his alleged victims and social justice advocates in Kansas City, Kansas.

Since the arrest of former Kansas City, Kansas, Detective Roger Golubski last year, Ophelia Williams has become the face of and fiercest advocate for his victims.

Named in the federal indictment that outlines sexual assault and kidnapping charges against Golubski, Williams goes to all of his federal court hearings, to all the victims’ prayer gatherings, to all of the social justice rallies.

Last Friday, Williams was in the office of Rep. Sharice Davids, trying to get a face-to-face meeting with the Democrat representing Kansas' 3rd District. An aide told Williams and the other seven members of the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity who came with her that the representative wasn’t in and they’d have to try again to get on her calendar.

Outside Davids’ office, huddled in the hallway, Williams broke down and whispered to the others that she won’t be able to do something like this again. It’s just too hard, she said.

“Prosecutors ain’t doing nothing, she ain’t doing nothing,” Williams said, referring to Davids. “Nobody wanna do nothing. And then they tell you the same old stuff: ‘You know, we can’t say this, we don’t know nothing.’”

Golubski, 71, was arrested by the FBI on Sept. 15, 2022, and charged with six counts of depriving two individuals of their civil rights, along with sexual assault, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping.

Williams was one of several women named in that indictment. Golubski is accused of sexually assaulting Williams in her home in 1999.

She says Golubski arrested her sons on a double murder charge, only to come back and say that he could help her. Instead he raped her, she says.

On November 14, Golubski was charged in another case that accuses him of protecting a notorious Kansas City, Kansas, drug dealer who was running a sex trafficking operation of underage girls.

Golubski, who has had several hearings in federal court, is currently out on house arrest and still without a trial date. A federal judge denied his request for release in January.

On October 4, his attorneys requested a reprieve of his house arrest so he could be hospitalized.

Golubski is due back in court Wednesday. It’s unclear whether he’s still in the hospital, as his attorney didn’t return an email seeking comment, but he has filed a waiver that would allow his attorney to appear on his behalf without him present.

At earlier hearings, his attorney said Golubski had heart bypass surgery in April 2022, has diabetes and his kidneys are failing.

Williams and the members of MORE2 have asked for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department. The activists want a “pattern-or-practice” investigation, meaning a full-scale look at the entire department, not just Golubski.

The DOJ announced such a probe last week into the Trenton, New Jersey Police Department, and another in July for the Memphis Police Department. In June, the DOJ found that the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct in violation of the U.S. Constitution and federal law, including excessive force and racial bias. That city has agreed to a consent decree with the Justice Department along with an independent monitor.

The FBI has been investigating the KCKPD for a host of civil rights violations and corruption dating back to the 1990s, according to federal documents obtained by KCUR, but nothing ever came of it.

Frustrated by delays in Golubski’s case and by silence from federal authorities, activists are now trying to get elected politicians to help. On Tuesday, after the Golubski hearing, they plan to go to Republican 2nd District Rep. Jake LaTurner’s office.

But Ophelia Williams won’t join them.

“What can we do?” she said. “What more can we do?”

Listen to the KCUR Studios podcast Overlookedabout the allegations against Golubski and how his accusers are still seeking answers and asking for accountability.

I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.
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