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Kansas Supreme Court Affirms Conviction

Associated Press - August 17, 2013 5:21 pm

A southern Kansas man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually attacked a mother of four before fatally setting her on fire.

The Kansas Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction and sentence of a man imprisoned for raping a child.

Eric Ochs was sentenced to life in prison with an eligibility of parole after 25 years in the 2009 rape of an 11-year-old girl. He was 21 at the time.

Ochs argued on appeal that the closing statement in the trial by Douglas County prosecutor Amy McGowan constituted misconduct. In that statement, McGowan said the girl was protected “and that protection she had was the truth.”

Prosecutors’ closing comments are generally confined to evidence presented during the trial.

In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court agreed that while McGowan’s statement was out of bounds, it didn’t impact the verdict against Ochs.

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Associated Press information from: Lawrence Journal-World