The Kansas Prison Review Board has denied parole for at least three years to a Kansas inmate currently charged with a Topeka cold case rape for which another man spent seven years in prison.
Joel L. Russell, 46 — who is serving up to a life sentence in prison on several sex crimes committed in 1992 — was denied parole until at least June 2015, according to Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman Jeremy Barclay.
In April, Russell was identified by DNA evidence as a suspect in an unsolved 1985 Topeka rape. Another man, Joe Jones, had spent nearly seven years in prison for the crime before his exoneration by DNA evidence in 1992.
Russell was served an arrest warrant in April, and has been charged in Shawnee County with one count of rape in that case. Prosecutors, however, had to wait for Russell to file paperwork under the Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Act before the court case could proceed. Russell filed that paperwork earlier this month, and his next court date in Shawnee County is Nov. 1.
Russell is accused of kidnapping a Topeka woman at knifepoint on Aug. 24, 1985, and sexually assaulting her. Shortly after that crime occurred, Russell was arrested for three other crimes in which he used a knife and attempted to kidnap a woman in the downtown Topeka area. Russell was convicted on numerous charges in that case, but was released from prison in 1990. In 1993, Russell was convicted of sexually assaulting two girls in Reno County the previous year.