SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A “dangerous sex offender” who was arrested in Utah after escaping a Kansas mental hospital in 2021 has been sentenced on Thursday, Feb. 9.
John Freeman Colt, 44, pled guilty to one count of failure to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to 21 months in state prison and 60 months of supervised release on Thursday at the U.S. District Court of Utah.
The U.S. Marshals reportedly arrested Colt in Wayne County, Utah, on Sept. 27, 2021, after he escaped from a Kansas mental health hospital in June. He was charged in federal court the day after.
Investigators say viewers saw Colt’s wanted poster on the news and recognized him. The Marshals elevated Colt’s case to major case status earlier that month and offered up to $10,000 as a reward for information about Colt.
Colt was previously sentenced in December 2001 to five years in state prison for aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape, aggravated burglary and four counts of aggravated battery against law enforcement.
He was required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
When his sentence ended, the state of Kansas determined that Colt was “too dangerous to be released” and sent him to a sexual predator treatment program in 2007.
Colt reportedly planned his escape for several months. According to the court documents, he managed to obtain a replica of a staff badge and uniform. On the morning of the escape, Colt shaved his long hair and beard, put blankets under his bed covers to make it look like he was asleep, and convinced a new staff worker that he was a new doctor looking for his way out of the building.
He was able to make his way past five secured doors and outside the gates posing as a doctor.
Investigators say Marshals got a ride from a local farmer to the town of Larned, about 120 miles northwest of Wichita. From there, Colt traveled another 120 miles to Scott City on a motorcycle he bought before his escape with the help of an accomplice.
U.S. Marshals believed at that time Colt may be camping in state and national parks throughout Utah, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, South Dakota, or Texas.