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Archive for Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Serial rapist sentenced to 48 years for attacks in 1990s

Victim’s persistence responsible for bringing attacker to justice a dozen years after assault

A Douglas County judge sends a serial rapist to prison for the maximum sentence allowed by law.

July 16, 2008

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A judge sentenced a convicted serial rapist to serve 48 years in prison for his brutal assaults on two women in the 1990s in Lawrence.

Cory Elkins, 39, apologized to victims during a tearful speech this morning in Douglas County District Court.

"I truly hope these women can find peace from this bad situation," said the California man, who was arrested by Lawrence police after they re-examined evidence using newer DNA technology.

A Douglas County jury in May convicted Elkins on four counts of rape and three counts of aggravated criminal sodomy from the rapes of two women. A third accuser attended the hearing today, but prosecutors could not file charges because the statute of limitations for rape had expired.

One of his victims, Emily Lentz, who has since left the state, kept the case alive when she contacted authorities in 2004 - nine years after she was raped - about her unsolved case. Lentz had heard about new DNA technology and asked if it could be used.

Elkins was convicted of rape and aggravated criminal sodomy in her case. She said he broke into an Oread Neighborhood home in September 1995, where she was sleeping and attacked her.

"That man has hurt a lot of people, and there's no excuse for it," Lentz said in court.

He was also convicted on three counts of rape and two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy for an attack on another woman in 1994. She also lives out of the state and wrote a letter to the judge asking for the maximum sentence.

Malone handed down the most severe sentence he could under state sentencing guidelines. Upon release, Elkins also must register as a sex offender.

The Journal-World generally does not name victims of sex crimes, but Lentz, who has worked with organizations about rape trauma, said she chose to come forward publicly.

Comments

RobertMarble 5 years, 4 months ago

I'd rather see the death penalty for this type of violent crime. No reason to keep offenders of this type around at public expense. I'm sure the naysayers wills stenuously object but- screw 'em.

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compmd 5 years, 9 months ago

Py,1) I only have two words: Sherron Collins.2) I'm not saying that rape isn't a serious offense, I find it to be a reprehensible act signifying a sick mind. But, tell me, which do you find worse: someone who raped one person, or someone who stabbed and mutilated (but didn't kill) one person for fun? Would you want there to be an indefinite statue of limitations for the investigation of the latter? Why? And where does it end?

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Pywacket 5 years, 9 months ago

And, Jonas, what do you think of the economic factors that I point out? That's one of the big things for me: that society has only so much money to allocate to (to coin an umbrella phrase) "crime aftermath." As it stands, there is a very lopsided allocation, with the perpetrators receiving by far the lion's share and the victims nearly nothing. I'm sick of our resources going to the criminals. I'd rather take away from the criminals and give to the victims. In many cases, this might make the difference in the victims not eventually becoming criminals themselves (and further draining the public coffers). We must supply public defenders for the accused... we must supply a lot of other resources... but it boils my blood when I read of violent criminals suing a state (as a for-instance) because they aren't supplied with whatever goofball foods they "must" eat according to some fringe religion they've adopted in prison... or because they don't have some particular creature comforts they think they should have. I'm not advocating a 180 to where they are kept in filthy dungeons and fed slop... And if we had plenty of resources left AFTER doing the right thing by crime victims, I agree that rehab, job training, etc., make sense for anyone who will ever get out... but we DON'T have that kind of money. I'd rather see the victims receive counseling, education, a sound roof over their heads, good medical & dental care, etc... And (deep down) I know we can't drag convicts--even those where there's no doubt of identity, etc.--out and shoot them or let the ants torture them... but maybe saying such things relieves a little frustration. I'll probably say them again! ;-)ah.. we could go crazy trying to solve the world's problems..

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l_town_playa 5 years, 9 months ago

No does not always mean no. Some of these women are asking for it and some of them deserve what they get.

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

Of course, letting us sort them out would require some sterner methods for those who do not rehabilitate.

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

Py: Certainly my experience has biased myself to this, and I recognize that his rehabilitation was not common, and based on lots of different and rare factors that do not play out together often. But. . . . knowing this does not change my stance, it simply strengthens my support for a justice system built on equal and impartial justice, and an eye towards rehabilitation. So many seem to go towards the idea of "kill them and let god sort them out." I don't buy that. (for one thing, I don't believe in that god) I would prefer to keep them alive, and let Us sort them out. This is, of course, idealism, and there are flaws as in all perfect systems run by imperfect people, but it's still the way I think.

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Pywacket 5 years, 9 months ago

Jonas~ there was a time when I would've been the one saying what you're saying here. I guess I'm just worn down by all the evil acts people commit, all the lives ruined by those acts, and the usually monstrous lack of justice that results. Study after study shows that (in the vast, vast majority of cases) violent rapists do not rehab. They repeat again and again, many eventually killing the victims so they can't talk. Do many of them come from bad beginnings themselves? Some do--some have no abuse or anything else in their past that would seem to explain their actions.And at this point, I just don't care. If we can catch one, and get a conviction (unclouded by doubts about identity, etc, as this particular case seems to be unclouded), for all I care, they can stake him in the desert, pour honey on him, and let the ants have their day. I do not agree that I'm compromising my own humanity by feeling this fiercely punitive. This society's insistence that forgiveness, of even the most heinous transgressions, is necessary to our own inner peace is not shared by many societies. Maybe at heart I'm a New Guinea Highlander:http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/04/21/080421fa_fact_diamond I found that article fascinating. Who's to say that their version of humanity is any less valid than mainstream America's?Maybe I'm just overwhelmed by numbers. There are so many victims who do not receive from society the therapy and support they desperately need.. It seems hopeless. If society has only so much money money to spend on the aftermath of serial rapes, child molestation, etc, I'd rather we spend it on victim compensation and just off the offal who couldn't control himself. Who knows--if victims (particularly children) received enough help early enough, maybe the chain would be broken and fewer of them would become violent offenders in turn. As for the victims who do not themselves become offenders, but whose lives are so shattered, perhaps spending the available money on them could further their healing. In a utopian world, we'd have resources for victims and also to do whatever could be done humanely with offenders. But we don't have enough resources and never will. I'd like to see them shifted to the victims--and the devil take the hindmost of the criminals.I am so sorry about your relative. I would gently suggest that this personal connection might bias your view a little. How could it not? I'm sure that having known several women who were raped or molested as children or teens has biased my view. Those I have known remain broken in many ways and have a very difficult time with relationships. The very least they should be able to expect is that society would put away forever the scumbags who did that to them, so they will never, never have to worry about them getting paroled or escaping. Just my opinion.

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igby 5 years, 9 months ago

Also, its really troubling to know that murders usually get 90 days in jail here when they get drunk and run over someone and kill them. They intended to get drunk, they intended to drive they gambled on their luck just like this rapist. At least these women can eat, walk, breath, sleep and have a life. The poor victims of the drunk drives can't speak to tell their tale of how they were RAPED out of everything in their life. Damaged beyond repair by these drunk killers and then pissed on by the very judges that so quickly gave this rapist 48 years in jail.

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igby 5 years, 9 months ago

Cory Elkins? I think I've heard that name before. LJW should have his mugshot up because their may be other victims.

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

Lord, then what are we arguing about? It seems we both believe that the sentence was a fair one.

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BBFantastic 5 years, 9 months ago

KUDOS to Ms. Lentz. Bravery at it's finest.

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Finn 5 years, 9 months ago

Jonas, my post is not tinged with anger at all. There is absolutely no denying the humanity of the (at least three that came forward) victims. If you had bothered to closely read my post you would also realize that I am not advocating mob justice; on the contrary, I am glad to see that the convicted will be spending the rest of his life in prison. The fact of the matter is that 50 years of scientific studies have shown that sexual offenders are the most difficult to rehabilitate, and show the highest rate of recidivism. Actions like this cause one to forfeit their place in open society, and prison is the correct place for him. While you may believe that a serial rapist has "humanity" as you state, I choose to believe otherwise, as their actions are subhuman at best. Again, this is not a situation where it was a one time occurrence--at least three women took the courageous steps to come forward and seek justice. God only knows how many other victims were either too scared, ashamed or afraid to come forward as well. Justice was served by the conviction and sentence.

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

Finn: I could tell the facts on my own, and you would not be able to tell the difference except for the changes of time, places, and faces.And kindly don't pass my post off as a "sob story." I will neither defend the actions of my own family member or the individual here, nor ask for leniency or evasion of justice. But allowing anger to deny the basic humanity of either the victims or the perpetrator is, in my opinion, harmful to everyone involved, including the person espousing the angry opinion. Allowing that anger to create mob-mentality only extends that damage.

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Finn 5 years, 9 months ago

Jonas, before you try the sob story on this dirtbag, please understand the underlying facts of this case. This was not a date rape situation--in fact, Elkins broke into these homes while people were sleeping, beat them, forced them to cover their faces so he would not be identified, and then proceeded to rape them. This was not a one time incident--in fact, the first victim was dragged off the street and violently assaulted in the woods. This individual never made amends, to the contrary, he finally left Lawrence and went back to California, where he continued his criminal ways. The victims all went to the police within hours of the assaults, and the only reason this guy was caught was because he continued to engage in criminal activity and was forced to give a DNA sample in California to the national database. Emily Lentz continued to push the KBI into investigating this matter, and in June of last year, there was a direct DNA match.These incredibly strong women have waited for over a decade for justice to be done, and through this verdict, justice has been served. This guy is not a "broken, damaged and confused human being", as you might want to believe--he is a cold and calculating criminal who has forfeited any rights he has to be a part of society.

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jonas 5 years, 9 months ago

pywacket: If what you suggest to Con1 had been standard practice, I'm afraid that a close and now highly repentant member of my family would have been killed. I have nothing but repellent disgust at the act of rape, perhaps sharpened by my living with the after-effects of being near it for my entire life, but a monster of this nature is frequently nothing more than a broken, damaged, and confused human being, some of whom have the opportunity to make amends later in life. Please don't let your anger at a person losing their humanity erode your own.

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Pywacket 5 years, 9 months ago

Compmd... Where should I even start?(1) Someone who is vindictive enough to bring charges against someone after she was a willing participant is probably not going to wait more than 7 years to play her vindictive game in the first place.(2) In this case (and probably in any other case for which a "guilty" verdict is found so long after the fact), a key component is the fact that the victims did not just surface after 7 carefree years and cry "rape." The rapes were reported early on. The trauma was immediate and ongoing. It was clear that the women had been raped--and there was even DNA proof to be found. Only problem was that the key to unlocking that DNA was not there until now. I could go on & on, but it's too easy. Bottom line: There should be no statute of limitation on such brutal, damaging crimes. In old cases such as this, it is extremely unlikely that a conviction would be handed down with flimsy evidence or he-said-she-said parrying. Actually, the more time has elapsed, the better the chances that the accused will walk--unless the evidence is overwhelming and damning--as in this case.Smartmomma~ Good point. Sociopaths are experts at turning on the tears when it suits their calculated needs. Glad it didn't work for this one.consumer1~ what's not to hate? He did it. He ruined or severely and permanently compromised several people's lives. Actually, a post-conviction, post-confession lynching would be just the thing to avoid our having to support his worthless hide for the next 40 years in prison, where he will receive much better medical and dental care than many innocent and decent people on the outside.

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stuckinthemiddle 5 years, 9 months ago

consumer1well... this is rather typical...sad, but true...

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compmd 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh my dear proponents of removing statutes of limitations. Would you have the state charge a man in his 30s for playing doctor with the girl next door 20 years ago if she came forward today saying she was "traumatized?" After all, with new DNA technology, anything is possible! Right? And we have to lock him up for his dastardly deed, right?There, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I'm glad that the courts actually worked and justice has been served in this case.

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consumer1 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow!! I am in awe of this mob mentality, why not just break him out of jail, find a tree and hang him. I gotta be honest, this guy deserves to be punished hard and long. But I am shocked at the vile and hate being spewed here. Wow!!

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Tony Gaines 5 years, 9 months ago

From what I understand, they don't take kindly to rapists, pedophiles, or child murderers in prison. He's gonna have a tough time for the next 40 years (if he makes it that long).

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missmagoo 5 years, 9 months ago

"A judge sentenced a convicted serial rapist to serve 48 years in prison for his brutal assaults on two woman in the 1990s in Lawrence."i think this should be women?and i agree, the statute of limitations is a shame.

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smartmomma 5 years, 9 months ago

he probably cried because he got caught...scumbag

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Eybea Opiner 5 years, 9 months ago

"but prosecutors could not file charges because the statute of limitations for rape had expired.""This is a shame. The whole system needs to be reworked."I don't know if this would necessarily apply in this case, but I understand California has extended the statute of limitations to run from the day an indictment based on DNA evidence. A great law, imo.

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Bone777 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with the 'no statute of limitations' opinion.I also think that this guy should have to spend the first half of his sentence with his wrist cuffed to his ankles.Have fun boys. He's all yours...

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juscin3 5 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Pywacket 5 years, 9 months ago

This is one crime for which there should be no statute of limitations. Many victims ran up against this same heartbreaking barrier when they finally dared to seek justice against all the priests who had been protected by the church for decades. I salute Ms Lentz--it took a lot of courage for her to keep pursuing justice after so many years. And the trial must've been very painful for her, but not as painful, I'm sure, as knowing that that scumbag was free all those years and probably damaging other people. May he die a slow, painful death after decades in prison.

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Confrontation 5 years, 9 months ago

"but prosecutors could not file charges because the statute of limitations for rape had expired."This is a shame. The whole system needs to be reworked.

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geniusmannumber1 5 years, 9 months ago

I am shocked. These liberal judges in Douglas County usually give a $50 fine for something like this./sarcasm

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