Newton County: Kenneth R. Rush Former Police Officer Accused of Child Abuse

Former Newton County Deputy Sheriff was arrested on December 19th in Jasper County.   Kenneth R. Rush, age 51 of Joplin, began his law enforcement career in Bates County is 2003.

Rush is currently being held at the Joplin Police Department in Joplin on a “No Bond” after child abuse charges were filed.  Kenneth R. Rush stood before Judge Joseph Hensley in Jasper County Circuit Court on January 10th with a plea of not guilty.

The Probable Cause indicated:

The two- month old child in the care of Rush was taken to a hospital via EMS due to having breathing problems and what was believed to be a seizure. Once at the hospital, the child seemed to have bleeding on the brain and the hospital staff transported the child to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City for further treatment.

Children’s Mercy SCAN team was contacted to consult and further treat the child. Children’s Mercy’s medical team advised the injury to the eyes was the result of a non-accidental abusive head trauma.

Throughout the investigation, Mr. Rush acknowledged he was the cause of the injuries and explained what had happened while the child was in his care.

The explanation varied from, tossing the child into the air, to tripping and falling while holding the child, to his bouncing the child while laying on the couch.

Rush was a 14-year veteran in law enforcement. He began his career with the Butler Police Department in 2003. According to Newton County Sheriff Chris Jennings, Rush was a short-term deputy who had worked with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office for the past few months. Rush was terminated from his position with the department when the Joplin Police began investigating the incident.

Rush is being held by the Joplin Police Department. His next court hearing is scheduled for 9:00 am January 31st, 2018.

Joplin Police Dept.
Joplin Sheriff’s Office
Joplin City Administrator Eric Theise
Joplin Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Kenney
Case Net #18AO-CR00022