Jacob Ewing pleads ‘guilty’ to reduced charges in previously appealed rape trial

Local News

HOLTON (KSNT) – A controversial 2017 trial with a Holton man convicted of rape and a prosecutor accused of mishandling the case now has a new development Friday.

Jacob Ewing, 26, entered “guilty” in the form of Alford pleas on two cases he previously appealed, according to the Jackson County Attorney. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to the crime but agrees that the evidence will likely result in a guilty verdict in trial.

Ewing pleaded to one count of aggravated sexual battery each in the two cases he was previously convicted of rape. The Jackson County Attorney said the plea negotiation agreement also comes with a requested 12-year, 8-month combined prison sentence.

The court currently has Ewing’s sentencing with the new plea set for June 18, 2021.

The jury convicted Ewing in 2017 of two counts of rape, four counts of criminal sodomy and two counts of aggravated battery related to incidents with two 18 and 21-year-old women, as well as attempted rape of another woman and child exploitation related to images he had of an underage girl.

After the original trial, a judge sentenced Ewing to 27 years in prison. The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said Ewing appealed his rape conviction because of “cumulative error.” The judge in the original trial permitted Ewing’s pornographic viewing history as evidence in the trial. The judge did not review these videos before they were presented by Prosecutor Jacque Spradling to the jury. A panel of attorneys also claimed Spradling’s misstatement of evidence in the closing argument of Ewing’s trial misled the jury.

Ewing appealed his rape convictions following the trial. The Kansas Court of Appeals ultimately reversed his conviction and granted Ewing a new trial in 2019.

A judge previously ordered Ewing to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and to pay more than $100,000 in restitution. After Ewing serves his prison terms in the new plea negotiation, he will still register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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