A Douglas County judge Tuesday morning kept bond at $500,000 for a 38-year-old Lawrence man who was recently awarded a new trial based on errors in his 2009 rape trial.
“As you know, there’s been some issues, strong enough issues that the higher courts have overturned the conviction,” defendant Robert Grey said Tuesday in court.
Grey was convicted in 2009 of the 1997 rape of a Kansas University student, but earlier this month a Kansas Court of Appeals panel found prosecutorial misconduct deprived him of a fair trial. District Judge Peggy Kittel said the issues in Robert Grey’s appeal did not negate the fact prosecutors had fingerprint DNA evidence in the case.
Prosecutors Tuesday also indicated they were confident they could still win a conviction at a new trial.
“It is a fairly strong case against the defendant,” said Amy McGowan, a chief assistant district attorney who also prosecuted the 2009 case.
Grey was convicted of raping a 20-year-old female. Prosecutors accused him of kidnapping her in her car at gunpoint from the Naismith Hall parking lot on a night in May 1997 and driving her to a secluded area near Lawrence High School, where the attack occurred. Grey was not arrested and charged until 10 years later after investigators used an FBI database to link a fingerprint from the car to Grey. Police also obtained Grey’s DNA.
Kittel had sentenced Grey to serve 26 years in prison after the 2009 conviction.
The appellate court said McGowan erred in failing to disclose some evidence to the defense, including the fact the victim could identify Grey as her rapist after earlier representing she could not, but the judges did say they found no evidence McGowan deliberately lied.
Grey’s next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 7.