Kansas woman convenes grand jury using 134-year-old law, brings charges against classmate for rape

Kansas

This Thursday, May 20, 2021, image from video shows Madison Smith during an interview in Lindsborg, Kan. Smith, who alleges consensual sex with a friend in his college dorm room turned into a terrifying sexual assault in which she was repeatedly strangled, took matters into her own hands when prosecutors declined to file a sex-crime charge. The 22-year-old used a law that allows citizens to convene grand juries in cases where they believe prosecutors aren’t pursuing wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Heather Hollingsworth)

MISSION (AP) — A Kansas woman who alleges consensual sex with a friend in his college dorm room turned into a terrifying sexual assault took matters into her own hands when prosecutors declined to file a rape charge.

She called a citizen grand jury, relying on a 134-year-old state law.

Twenty-two-year-old Madison Smith collected hundreds of signatures to call the grand jury to bring more serious charges against Jared Stolzenburg, her classmate at Bethany College in Lindsborg.

He had pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and received two years’ probation.

Kansas is one of six states that allow citizens to petition for grand juries. The 1887 law was rarely used until anti-abortion activists began using it to investigate abortion clinics.

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