- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A child molester serving prison time for raping four boys 11 years ago was beaten unconscious by one of the victims when they were put into the same holding cell, authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials said they had no idea the two men had a history.

Kevin Kinder, 31, was beaten Thursday morning in a holding cell shared by about 60 inmates awaiting transport to court. The abuse victim, now 22 years old, was charged yesterday with felony battery.

The man’s mother, Judy Cornett, said her son recounted the chance meeting in a telephone conversation later Thursday. He told her he saw Kinder across the cell “and just snapped,” dropping him with a single punch and knocking out a tooth.

“I could hear in his voice that he got some sort of satisfaction out it,” Mrs. Cornett said. “He has had to live with this pain and anger for 11 years.”

Kinder pleaded guilty in 1992 to performing lewd acts on four boys ages 11 to 14. Mrs. Cornett’s son and his best friend were molested after Kinder lured them to some woods with the promise of some comic books.

Kinder served six years of a 17-year sentence and was held until 2001 under the Jimmy Ryce Act, which allows the state to confine people found to be violent sexual predators after their prison term expires.

In August, a judge sentenced Kinder to 60 years in prison after he violated his probation by having pornography in his home computer, stealing a car from his employer and breaking a restriction to drive only to and from his workplace.

Mrs. Cornett’s son has been in and out of legal trouble, and she blames Kinder for much of it. Her son was scheduled to be arraigned in court Thursday morning on a charge of violating probation for burglary, stealing a car and resisting an officer without violence.

Kinder had been brought from the state prison to Tampa for a hearing.

Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Rod Reder said the two men ending up in the same cell in the 4,200-inmate jail was a fluke.

“When you’re in the jail under charges, we don’t ask you if you’ve ever been a victim of a crime, and could there be anybody in here that victimized you,” Lt. Reder said.

Rick Escobar, the attorney for Mrs. Cornett’s son, said it’s easy to understand why his client attacked Kinder, and he said he’ll take the battery charge to trial.

“I don’t think there’s a jury in the country that would convict him,” Mr. Escobar said.

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