Archive for Friday, January 6, 2006

Probation reinstated for man involved in 2003 rape case

January 6, 2006

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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.

Comments

Ragingbear 9 years, 7 months ago

If this man is incapable of meeting the terms of his probation, then he needs to be in jail, just like any other person who cannot meet the terms of thier parole or probation.

nlf78 9 years, 7 months ago

Consumer1 hit the nail on the head. I hope that he gets the help he needs. He did do the crime but there are two sides to that story. He needs counseling and supervision. Cottonwood should be able to take care of those needs.

bankboy119 9 years, 7 months ago

Wrist Slap for Rapist

A Vermont man convicted on multiple rape counts against a young child was given just 60 days in jail by a judge who says he no longer believes in punishment. Prosecutors had asked for at least eight years behind bars for Mark Hulett, who confessed to raping his victim repeatedly for four years, starting when she was seven.

But in handing down his sentence, Judge Edward Cashman said harsh punishment, "accomplishes nothing of value," adding, "anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul." The victim's mother tearfully disagreed, telling reporters that the rapist "should pay for what he did."

Consumer, that's BS. If that guy touched my child, I would use my right to bear arms to kill him. He needs to be in jail. You're putting many at risk because you feel sorry for the guy? Why don't you let your kids play with him.

bankboy119 9 years, 7 months ago

And by the way...I realize my 2nd amendment rights do not allow me to kill him...but they do allow me to have to tools to do so.

monkeywrench1969 9 years, 7 months ago

NOrmally I would think the psych eval should have been done beofre he is sentenced so they could make an informed application of a sentence.

He is smart enough to remember sports trivia he should be able to remember "curfew 10 pm"..."Don't drink alcohol"..."Don't go in bars"..."Don't have sex with under age girls"...If not write them down, laminate the card and force him to wear it around his neck.

trinity 9 years, 7 months ago

the psych eval SHOULD have been done prior to sentencing.

this is an example of what happened back in the early 70's when deinstitutionalization was the buzz. and also what happens when county mental health centers and even private ones don't have the $ or the skill to monitor folks.

i know it sounds harsh and cruel, but quite honestly-society would likely be a lot safer if there were still state hospitalization options available for some folks. and those folks, even though stigmatized for living in a state hospital, did receive regular meals, clean environment, health care, etc.

Confrontation 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Trinity. Lock him up in a state mental institution.....if that option were available. I used to work near 10th and Kansas Ave. in Topeka, and there are two apartment complexes right near that intersection that house a whole lot of former state mental patients. That was a scary walk to work. Open the hospitals back up and medicate like crazy (pun intended).

meggers 9 years, 6 months ago

smitty,

I don't think Cottonwood can pick and choose who they provide services to. I understand your frustration with the laws that allow sexual offenders back into the community. That's a valid point of view and certainly one worth talking to your legislators about. The fact is that currently, convicted sex offenders ARE allowed back into community settings. It seems to me that you should be thanking your lucky stars that at least two (if your information is correct) of these convicted sex offenders are receiving oversight from Cottonwood, so that they are less likely to reoffend.

And at the risk of being slammed for sharing this point of view, I would contend that in a case of consensual sex involving a cognitively impaired young adult and a non-disabled 13-year-old, the stereotypical roles of victim and aggressor are not clearly defined. For example, if an eight-year-old boy were to have consensual sex with a thirteen-year-old girl, would you blame the eight-year-old or the thirteen-year-old?

meggers 9 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, smitty, for explaining where you are coming from on this.

With regard to the person Cottonwood's already working with, I can't help but think that Cottonwood (perhaps in conjunction with Bert Nash or a similar agency) is in the best position to assess the likelihood of that person offending again, as well as what type of support is needed to prevent such an occurrance. It's difficult to make any sort of assessment without knowing the details of the crime. For example, was it yet another case of a young adult having consensual sex with someone underage?, did it even involve a child?, was the victim a stranger or an acquaintance?, etc. I'd imagine (at least I hope) that a lot of factors were considered before deciding what type of living situation would best support the person.

As far as finding a residence where children wouldn't be nearby, that seems virtually impossible to do in ANY community setting. And you're probably right about the confidentiality thing. I doubt it would have been legal for Cottonwood to reveal personal information about the person to people in the neighborhood. I would be interested in knowing how long ago the person's crime occurred. If it's been a number of years and the person hasn't reoffended, it would appear that Cottonwood is doing something right.

With regard to purchasing the alcohol, I can see how it would have been pretty easy for a person with mental retardation to be persuaded to do such a thing to keep his friends happy. Even if he knew it was wrong, he probably didn't understand the potential legal repercussions, just as he may not have known he was committing a crime when he had sex with the girl. Especially since his friends did it, too. Hell, he may not have even really wanted to have sex with her, but did it to be "one of the guys". Sadly, most people with mental retardation that I've known are constantly seeking approval and acceptance from so-called normal people.

In any case, I fully understand your desire to protect children in the community. I'm sure Cottonwood shares your desire, so let's hope they do everything they can to minimize any potential risks to others.

coolmom 9 years, 6 months ago

he can find his way to bars but not to where he is supposed to be? hum sounds fishy. if he cant do it for himself then of course he needs help and as he is a sex offender that help needs to come with more supervision than the normal cottonwood supervision. jail sounds good. and realistically bert nash is not good about consistantly providing services for the length of time and with the oversight that is needed...

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