A man accused of kidnapping and beating a woman in Garden City was bound over for trial in 1st District Court on Tuesday.
John Joseph Sharkey, 43, faces 11 charges including first-degree aggravated kidnapping, second-degree and third-degree aggravated assault, and first-degree aggravated sexual assault.
After Sharkey’s preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Judge Angela Fonnesbeck found probable cause existed for all charges. However, prosecutors elected to dismiss one count of second-degree aggravated sexual extortion of an adult due to lacking evidence.
Sharkey pleaded not guilty to all counts and was set to appear for a pretrial conference on April 27.
During the hearing, prosecutor Tony Baird presented testimony from two Rich County Sheriff’s Office deputies and a statement from the alleged victim.
Deputy Jered Johnson told the court he awoke to a call on Jan. 26 of an unclothed woman who had arrived at a hotel in Garden City stating she had been assaulted. After responding to the hotel, the deputy went to the residence where the alleged assault took place and entered the home. Sharkey was located behind a coat rack and asked the deputy what he was doing and if he had a warrant.
After some back and forth, Johnson said the situation quickly escalated and Sharkey fled through a doorway that led into a garage. Two stun guns were deployed that fell short of subduing Sharkey and he was taken to the ground with physical force. According to testimony, Sharkey continually resisted being placed into a patrol vehicle and was eventually shackled.
“The defendant is a very large, strong man,” Johnson said.
Deputy Jon Nichol testified he also responded to the call and found a “bloody,” “naked female” at the hotel. Before he responded, the deputy said his wife had provided clothing for the alleged victim, who was found to have fled Sharkey’s residence in 12-to-14 degree weather. After the deputy arrived, he said he recognized the alleged victim from a local business.
According to testimony, the alleged victim told deputies Sharkey beat her “all night” and strangled her multiple times. Urine and pieces of eggshell were reportedly found in the alleged victim’s hair, deputies said.
Nichol described bruising, injuries and early stages of hypothermia sustained by the alleged victim during the incident; several photos of injuries and other physical evidence were provided to the court. In prior hearings it was revealed that the victim also sustained frostbite. She was transported by ambulance to a hospital for examination and treatment after the incident.
“She was recoiling and screaming (during the examination) because her head hurt so bad,” Nichol said.
Defense attorney Mike McGinnis argued for the dismissal of a few select charges and the merger of the two assault counts, but Fonnesbeck ultimately found probable cause for the charges. It was confirmed during cross examination that the alleged victim was allowed access to the crime scene without police supervision to retrieve her phone — which has not been searched by authorities.
Sharkey recently served a decade in a Colorado State Prison for a similar assault conviction. He is currently being held without bail.