A Lawrence man convicted in a child sex crime case will get a second chance at probation because of his case manager's neglect, a Douglas County judge ruled Thursday.
Judge Paula Martin reinstated a five-year probation sentence for Michael Rayton, 30, who in 2004 entered a plea to taking aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
The Douglas County District Attorney's Office had sought revocation of the probation because of various violations of its terms, including breaking curfew and drinking in bars. Rayton is now in Douglas County Jail on those allegations.
Martin, however, sided with the arguments presented by Rayton's attorney, Jim Rumsey, who blamed Rayton's former Topeka case manager for not supervising Rayton. Rayton, Rumsey noted, is mentally retarded and incapable of meeting a curfew and showing up for meetings with a probation officer without someone's assistance.
"In the end, no services were provided to Mr. Rayton," Martin said.
Assistant Dist. Atty. Brandon Jones argued that evidence was inadequate in determining how mentally incapable Rayton is.
"I don't think you can find Rayton was totally blameless," Jones said.
Rayton was one of three men who received probation from Martin for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in June 2003 after a night of drinking. Her sentences caused controversy and resulted in a failed move by the girl's mother and others to get Martin ousted from the bench during the 2004 fall election.
Rumsey said Rayton would be working with a case manager from Cottonwood Inc. The case manager already had found possible group homes where Rayton could live during his probation and have the 24-hour supervision that he needs, Rumsey said.
Martin ruled that Rayton must work with the Cottonwood manager or another case manager approved by the court. Rayton will remain in jail until arrangements have been made for him to live in a supervised group home approved by the court.
Martin also ordered that Rayton have psychological, substance abuse and medical evaluations. A determination also is to be made about what type of jobs he can hold, and he is to perform community service work.
Rayton also is to avoid drinking alcohol and not have contact with the victim or her family.
- Staff writer Mike Belt can be reached at 832-7165.