A Douglas County jury on Monday morning convicted a 39-year-old Lawrence man of two child sex crime counts in connection with a 2011 incident involving a 6-year-old girl.
Jurors found Dean Oliver Tapedo guilty of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated criminal sodomy. The indecent liberties count was an alternative charge to a rape count, of which the jury did not convict him. But District Attorney Charles Branson said Tapedo still faces a sentence of 25 years to life on each count triggered by Jessica’s Law.
Prosecutor Amy McGowan, a chief assistant district attorney, accused Tapedo of sexually assaulting the girl in her bed last October. McGowan said he stayed at a central Lawrence home and that he had fallen asleep in the family’s living room after he drank alcohol there the night before. Tapedo was a family friend at the time.
McGowan said the girl made the allegations against the man to a worker at school the next day, and she later described the events to a child welfare worker in a video interview that jurors watched during the trial last week. The prosecutor also accused Tapedo of corroborating her story when he spoke with Lawrence officers in a recorded interview, and she argued DNA evidence taken from the girl’s pajama pants implicated the defendant.
Defense attorney Michael Clarke argued police did not test enough physical evidence in the case, and he accused officers of “browbeating” Tapedo during a five-hour interview after he initially denied doing anything to the girl.
Jurors deliberated for more than an hour Friday after hearing closing arguments, and they returned Monday morning when they watched a video of a police interview in the case before they reached their decision.
District Judge Kay Huff scheduled Tapedo’s sentencing for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 2.