Archive for Saturday, August 21, 2010

Interview in child rape case reviewed

August 21, 2010

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A Douglas County judge will review the video interview that the wife of a man suspected of sexually assaulting two girls gave to police to determine whether it can be used as evidence.

The woman, 33, faces a September trial on charges of endangering a child and felony lewd and lascivious behavior. Her husband, 33, is accused of raping two girls, now 9 and 10, during the past two years at their home in north-central Lawrence.

The woman’s attorney, Napoleon Crews, is asking District Court Judge Peggy Kittel not to allow her June interview with police to be used during her Sept. 29 trial.

During arguments in court Friday afternoon Crews said his client never said yes to waiving her Miranda rights. He said instead she asked officers if her husband waived his rights and began speaking to police.

When she was told that he had, Crews said she began to talk “because she didn’t know what else to do.”

“I don’t believe that could be construed as knowledge or a voluntary waiver,” Crews said.

But prosecutor Amy McGowan, a chief assistant Douglas County district attorney, said the woman’s reasoning behind why she waived her rights was not important.

“She made her own decision to talk to police officers, and she did it willingly,” McGowan said. “There wasn’t any coercion there.”

Kittel said she would review the parts of the video interview in question and make a decision later.

The woman’s husband faces a January trial on eight counts, including three child rape charges. He tried to plead guilty to all counts as charged Tuesday, but Kittel did not accept the pleas because the defense refused to go into more details about the case.

Lawrence police have said the parents of the girls reported to officers that the girls said the man had raped both of them repeatedly during the past two years.

The Journal-World generally does not identify suspects of sex crimes unless they are convicted.

Comments

dragonwagon2 7 years, 3 months ago

I just have a question about the Journal World policy of not naming suspects of sex crimes. Doesn't the World Company own both the Journal World and Channel 6? If I'm correct, why would there be two difference policies? TV 6 gives names and provides pictures.

wmathews 7 years, 3 months ago

6News shares the same policy at the Journal-World in that they do not name suspects in sex crimes until a conviction is made. If a name and mugshot were aired, it was in error.

Whitney Mathews Online Editor

Amy Heeter 7 years, 3 months ago

Stupid people! "Anything you say can and will be used agianst you in a court of law" Even if you never read a book we know you watched T.V. I hope both of them get nailed to the wall. Having said that they could never give either enough time to satisfy me.

mass207 7 years, 3 months ago

This is what is wrong with our laws. Never mind the fact that THEY DID IT.....we're worried about if she new she could keep her mouth shut or not!

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

So what's wrong with our laws is that we follow them?

mass207 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm tired of violent criminals getting off because if technicalities. Never mind that fact that there is blood on them, knife in hand and 500 people saw them do it..............Those poor girls lives are at issue and because she didn't waive her rights, we say what? "Oh, sorry, girls, thems....the breaks???"

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

The Constitution is not a technicality.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

I thought Miranda was considerably weakened by the SCOTUS recently within the last year or two, but I'm fuzzy on the details. Do you remember/know?

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't think that what's wrong is that the laws are followed, it's that they're not consistently followed and that many attorneys, both prosecutorial and defense, use case law to twist things to mean something totally different. I can see this as a great source of frustration to people who don't know how the legal system works.

Bobo Fleming 7 years, 3 months ago

So why is it the the Police cant remember to get a simple yes? If she says "yes" they dont have this problem.

meggers 7 years, 3 months ago

Agreed, Senegal66025. In fact, it would be prudent for the police to videotape someone waiving their Miranda rights, rather than just recording what they said after they waived their rights. I wonder if her husband did indeed waive his rights, or if that was just a ploy to get her to talk. I'm not defending her at all- I just think that if the police want to develop a solid case, it doesn't help their cause to engage in constitutionally questionable activities.

meggers 7 years, 3 months ago

Making false statements in order to coerce someone into waiving their Miranda rights is indeed constitutionally questionable activity. You may be right about that part of the interview being videotaped, though. The article isn't really clear about that.

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