Archive for Friday, January 15, 2010

Jury convicts Lawrence man on rape charge

Sentencing set for Feb. 26

January 15, 2010, 3:09 p.m. Updated January 15, 2010, 4:24 p.m.


A Douglas County jury on Friday convicted a 22-year-old Lawrence man in the February 2009 rape of an 11-year-old girl.

Jurors deliberated the fate of Eric M. Ochs for about three hours before they convicted him of the rape charge.

A Douglas County jury on Jan. 15, 2010, convicted Eric M. Ochs, 22, of Lawrence, of the rape of an 11-year-old girl at her North Lawrence home in February 2009.

A Douglas County jury on Jan. 15, 2010, convicted Eric M. Ochs, 22, of Lawrence, of the rape of an 11-year-old girl at her North Lawrence home in February 2009.

The victim said Ochs had sex with her Feb. 6 at her North Lawrence home. The defendant was baby-sitting the girl and her siblings while her parents were out of town at a casino. Lawrence police have said the suspect admitted inappropriately touching the girl.

During closing arguments Friday, defense attorney Kevin Babbit said officers coerced the defendant into making those statements and the DNA evidence in the case did not match the charges from prosecutors.

Ochs took the stand in his defense.

In her closing arguments, Amy McGowan, a chief assistant Douglas County district attorney, told jurors the victim’s testimony in the case matched scientific evidence in the case.

“He committed the crime of rape in her room that night,” McGowan said.

District Judge Michael Malone revoked the defendant’s bond and scheduled his sentencing for 3 p.m. Feb. 26.

Cheryl Wright, a district attorney’s office spokeswoman, said that because the victim was younger than 14, “Jessica’s Law” applies in the case and Ochs faces a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.


lgreen17 8 years, 5 months ago

Is it really necessary to say that the parents were at a casino?

What are you (j-world) really trying to say here? That the parents were low-class because they go to a casino and thus they didn't care about their child? no child deserves rape, and no parents deserve to have their child raped because they went out of town, no matter where they went.

This is tabloid journalism at it's best in Lawrence!

Bryan Wilcox 8 years, 5 months ago

Way to make wild speculations based on absolutely nothing, lgreen17!

Amy Heeter 8 years, 5 months ago

Now let's see if he actually gets some real time.

Christine Anderson 8 years, 5 months ago

Ha,ha, you got just what you deserved, you disgusting piece of crap. Here's to hoping you get some serious time, for the child whose life you have destroyed, and for the pain your crime caused not only to the direct victim, but to "collateral" victims as well.

notanoobhere 8 years, 5 months ago

just shoot the pos and save the taxpayers some money.

1029 8 years, 5 months ago

And people wonder why so many parents are tethering their kids outside while they go into bars/casinos/strip clubs. It's just not safe to hire a babysitter.

middlemgmt 8 years, 5 months ago

I hope the prisoners take no mercy with this one!

frustratedOne 8 years, 5 months ago

I am so proud of our Justice system right now. It is wonderful to see that they did not just let this scum back out on the streets to do this to another innocent child. Way 2 Go Douglas County!!! As for the jerk himself, may he get ALL that he deserves.

BorderRat 8 years, 5 months ago

Man, I'm gonna open up a 24 hour state certified child care center outside the casino.

MyName 8 years, 5 months ago

that sounds like a good idea, actually BorderRat lol

conservative 8 years, 5 months ago

Too bad our society doesn't allow us to execute for this crime.

bkreed1960 8 years, 5 months ago

According to Jessica's Law, he will get no less than 25 years in prison. He definitely deserves that, if not life.

A20271 8 years, 5 months ago

Yes!!!! I hope he gets 25 years and more! This creep is SICK.

akuna 8 years, 5 months ago

In my best Brit Hume voice... "He should become a catholic... be forgiven... and become a priest. He's a great candidate." LOL.

Seriously though, anyone that commits such a heinous crime does not deserve to see the light of day for a long, long time. Go justice system.

Charlie Sabotage 8 years, 5 months ago

what a sick man. i hope he dies. how dare he not kill himself for this. seriously, what sick bastard

acg 8 years, 5 months ago

I would get on board with executing him. It's high time we make child rape a death penalty offense.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 5 months ago

25 years for a 22 year old, I can live with his release when he's 47. Anyway, facts are most of these child rapes are not from that creepy homeless guy in the park, but a friend or family member.

Donald Loux 8 years, 5 months ago

Here is some clarification from a member of the jury. The deceased mother of Mr. Ochs was the best friend of the mother of the victim. The victim's family had known him for nine years and considered him to be a member of their family. The victim's mother testified that he was at their house weekly and had often spent the night there. He was not some babysitter that was hired off the street to take care of the the children. (Actually he was not the main babysitter and he was at the house mostly to keep the babysitter- his girlfriend- company.) They trusted him and he betrayed their trust. The parents of the victim went to a casino to celebrate a very special birthday event with other adult members of the family. According to the victim's mother, the parents had not spent a night away from the children in years. There are several points in the story that are incomplete or inaccurate. I e-mailed the J-W about them so we'll see if the story is updated.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

Too bad our society doesn't allow us to execute for this crime.

---few years ago, Louisiana made some sex offenses death penalty eligible. however I think the supreme court tossed it.
probably called it cruel and unfeathery treatment.

Christine Anderson 8 years, 5 months ago

I do not know the victim or her family. I do know that this sicko's crime caused untold suffering; the greatest to the victim, and also to others whose family members knew him. Pain,pain, and more pain. I would love to see the guards turn their backs just long enough for inmate justice to be served. An earlier poster said perhaps the other prisoners will save the taxpayers some money. Hey, it took care of Dahmer. Yes, I realize the crimes are not the same. I'm saying in that case, a monster deserved death, and since my home state does not have the death penalty, he wasn't gonna get it.. That is, of course, until some other inmate(s) took care of it. My late sister had to help prep Dahmer's body for a viewing by his mother. She said it was all the staff could do to force themselves to treat the remains as if they were human. Different crime, still a monster.

anonymous70 8 years, 5 months ago

You know, people enough is enough. He was convicted and will pay for his crime. I feel that the family has suffered enough with what has happened to their child. They don't need to glance at the paper online and see all these comments about them, the crime committed and the convicted. Leave them be and move onto something else. The family deserves some peace and quiet right now. Please you all have expressed our feelings about this. Does it make you feel any better to express your feelings out loud for the world to see? Let the family go through the healing process now in peace. God bless the child and the family.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 5 months ago

There is no "Healing Process" as it is related to child sexual abuse. Kinda like having a leg cut off and than being told to forget you do not have a leg. The community needs to feel and express outrage about this and too legislation needs to be stregthened to reflect this outrage. In order for that to happen we need to talk about it. Silence and denial will never help victims move forward.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

"There is no “Healing Process” as it is related to child sexual abuse."

And the odds are very good that the perp in this case was himself the victim of child sexual abuse. If so, there was no healing process for him, and he certainly won't get it in prison.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 5 months ago

If he is in prison at least children are safe from him.

compmd 8 years, 5 months ago

Some of you are seriously fscked in the head, at least as much as a child rapist. Kill! Kill! Kill! Lock him up forever! Kill! Listen to yourselves, crying that you can't execute someone who didn't take the life of another. If you want to see a mentally defective person, look in the mirror.

Donald Loux 8 years, 5 months ago

The J-W has made one change based on my suggestions and the 4:24 p.m. version shown above is different from the version that appears in today's newspaper. The other clarification is about Kevin Babbitt's argument that the LPD coerced Mr. Ochs into making incriminating statements. The police officer in the voluntary interview video told Mr. Ochs that he was just trying to find out the truth. At the same time he told the Mr. Ochs that there existed certain forensic evidence to tie him to the crime. At that time no forensic testing had been done at all. DNA samples from the defendant had not even been taken! Bottom line- never submit to a voluntary LPD interview because if you are told that evidence exists that can be used against you, that evidence might not exist at all. After Mr. Ochs was told about the non-existent forensics evidence, he made incriminating statements. Note that the jury did not convict him based solely on his statement. We considered the DNA evidence on the blankets that were on the victim's bed.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

"There is no “Healing Process” as it is related to child sexual abuse."

Completely and scientifically untrue.

This is horrible, but survivable. Many who endure this do not fully recover, but many really do. There is plenty of hope for this girl to live a full life.

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