The Kansas Court of Appeals has overturned part of a conviction in a 2003 Lawrence rape case.
Patrick C. Neal, 22, was convicted at trial of raping a Lawrence woman in June 2003 after he gave her a ride home from a downtown bar. He was convicted of both rape and aggravated battery, but the court ruled last week that Neal couldn't be convicted of both because they were essentially the same crime.
"The rape and battery appear to be a series of violent acts occurring simultaneously, and the perpetrator thus cannot be charged and convicted of both crimes," the court wrote.
However, the court found that overall Neal had a fair trial and "there is no trial error: that would require reversal of Neal's rape conviction."
It was unclear Tuesday exactly how the ruling would affect Neal's sentence. He was ordered to prison for 267 months for rape and 12 months for aggravated battery and is being held in the state prison in Ellsworth.