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Archive for Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lawrence man acquitted of aggravated criminal sodomy in case involving 5-year-old

October 18, 2012, 2:42 p.m. Updated October 19, 2012, 9:54 a.m.

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A Douglas County jury Thursday found a 31-year-old Lawrence man not guilty of aggravated criminal sodomy stemming from allegations he sexually abused a 5-year-old boy earlier this year.

According to testimony at trial, the charge stemmed from an alleged incident in April involving the son of the man’s former girlfriend, whom he lived with at the time.

Testimony by a forensic analyst from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation was that the boy’s DNA was found on the man’s penis, which was swabbed by police shortly after the alleged incident.

But the KBI never tested the swabs to find out if the DNA was urine, semen, saliva or skin cells, said Sarah Swain, the defense attorney who handled the case.

The defendant had an explanation for how some form of DNA could've been transferred to his penis, Swain said. Prior to the bath, the boy, who had been arguing with her defendant, urinated on the defendant. Then, during the bath, the boy grabbed the defendant's penis while he was urinating in a toilet adjacent to the bathtub.

The failure to established where the DNA came from was just one example of how poorly the case was investigated, Swain said.

"It was a complete and total failure by the Lawrence police to investigate," she said. "It was a complete and total failure of the police to do their job."

The man could’ve faced up to life in prison had he been convicted.

The Journal-World generally does not name sex crime suspects unless they’re convicted.

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