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Kansas man whose case divided hometown pleads guilty

(AP)
Published: May. 10, 2021 at 2:03 PM MDT|Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 2:04 PM MDT
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(AP) — A man whose case has divided his small northeast Kansas town has struck a plea deal with prosecutors that will likely put him in prison for 10 years.

Jacob C. Ewing, 26, of Holton pleaded guilty Friday in Jackson County District Court to two counts of aggravated sexual battery, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Jackson County Attorney Shawna Miller said in a news release that both sides agreed to 10 years incarceration on one count and two years, eight months on the other, with both running at the same time.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 18.

Ewing was initially sentenced to more than 27 years in prison following his 2017 convictions for raping and sodomizing one woman in 2016 and raping and committing two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy against another woman in 2014.

But the Kansas Court of Appeals threw out those convictions in 2019 and ordered a new trial, citing errors by the prosecutor and court.

Ewing argued in his appeal that special prosecutor Jacqie Spradling misstated evidence in her closing arguments that inflamed the “passions of the jury.” His appeal also contended the court made other errors in allowing certain trial evidence.

Ewing is already in prison serving time in two other cases after pleading guilty to attempted rape and sexual exploitation of a child in 2017, Miller said.

He will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life once he is released from prison.

The allegations against Ewing, a former state football champion and member of a well-known local family, divided Holton, a town of about 3,300 residents.

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