Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Molester appeals sentence

Attorney asks for 77-year-old client’s freedom while court mulls case

October 31, 2000


A 77-year-old Lawrence man sentenced to prison for molesting his granddaughter is appealing the sentence and wants to be freed until a higher court decides the case.

William Van Dyke was sentenced earlier this month to 55 months more than four years in prison for his attempted rape conviction.

Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone ordered the sentence, despite a plea for mercy from defense attorney James Rumsey, who presented evidence that Van Dyke suffers from depression that, combined with an assortment of physical ailments, was sure to kill him in prison.

On Friday, Rumsey filed notice that he will appeal the sentence. He offered no reason in court documents, and Monday he declined to speak about the matter.

Typically, though, Kansas appeals courts let sentences stand if they conform to sentencing guidelines. The guidelines in Van Dyke's case called for prison.

On Monday, Rumsey filed a motion requesting Van Dyke be released on bond from the Douglas County Jail, where he currently is incarcerated, pending the outcome of the appeal.

"The defendant's age and physical infirmities ... make it highly unlikely that he will flee during the appeal process," Rumsey wrote in court documents.

He asked for a $10,000 bond for his client.

No hearing has been set for the motion.

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