Inmate re-sentenced in 2013 Douglas County rape case

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St.

Back in 2013, Scott H. Kobel was charged with rape, aggravated kidnapping and attempted rape of a then-28-year-old woman.

Five years later — after some six attorneys, multiple stays at Larned State Hospital and its correctional facility, and an appeal of his sentence — Kobel was back in Douglas County District Court to be sentenced in the case for a second time.

Judge Peggy Kittel on Friday re-sentenced Kobel, 53, to 12 years in prison for his 2014 aggravated battery conviction, according to Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to District Attorney Charles Branson.

Proportionately speaking, Kobel’s new sentence isn’t vastly different than the initial one he got in 2016, which was 10 months longer. He still faces three years of post-release supervision. The re-sentencing was ordered by the Kansas Court of Appeals, which found that Kobel should have been sentenced as if he had a criminal history score of “B” instead of the more extensive “A,” Wright Kunard said.

In the 2013 case, Kobel ended up convicted of aggravated battery instead of the more severe initial charges following a no contest plea. However, the judge did find his crime was sexually motivated and ordered him to register as a sex offender for 15 years after he’s released from prison.

The 2013 complaint listed Kobel’s address as “transient.” The victim told police she had been assaulted by a male acquaintance at an apartment on the city’s south side, was rendered unconscious, and thought she might have been sexually assaulted, the Journal-World previously reported. When interviewed by police Kobel admitted to choking the woman, the Journal-World reported.

Behind the scenes, Kobel’s lengthy court case has been complicated by mental health issues.

Kobel was a difficult client from the beginning, according to court filings from multiple attorneys he fired. One, Clinton Lee, said Kobel had called him from the jail nearly every day. Another, Branden Smith, said Kobel had sent him 800-plus pages of handwritten notes that he had to review.

photo by: Kansas Department of Corrections

Scott H. Kobel

At one point while in the Douglas County Jail Kobel broke his eyeglasses and ate the glass, and at times refused to take medication or demanded other, specific medications, among case history included in an order by Kittel denying Kobel’s request to withdraw his plea.

Prior to his first sentencing, Kobel spent a number of months at Larned State Hospital, where he was ordered to treatment to achieve mental competency, according to his court file. Since his 2016 sentencing he’s been back there again, this time in the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.

Kobel is now at the El Dorado Correctional Facility, according to KDOC. Wright Kunard said his new sentence is running consecutively to a 2012 sentence for attempted theft, also here in Douglas County.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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