As part of an effort to get a new trial for a former middle school counselor serving nearly 14 years in prison in a sex case involving a student, a hearing was held in Saline County District Court Monday.
In June of 2014 Brooke Dinkel was found guilty of sex crimes involving a 13-year-old student. A jury found the now 34-year-old former Smoky Valley Middle School Counselor guilty of two counts of rape. She was acquitted of other charges that included 8 other counts of rape and 10 counts of aggravated criminal sodomy.
The case stemmed from sexual encounters at Dinkel’s home with a student. She was a school counselor at the time, and the student was 13-years-old.
During the trial Dinkel contended that the boy forced himself on her the first time. It happened when he was at her house helping her with a wallpaper project. She said after that she continued to have sexual encounters with the student because he was threatening to get her in trouble.
Dinkel was sentenced to 165 months in prison, and was ordered to be on lifetime supervision once released.
Since that time, Dinkel has retained new legal representation. They have filed an appeal and are seeking a new trial.
As part of the process, attorneys were in court Monday to discuss several issues. The Saline County Attorney’s Office is preparing an index of all evidence that was used in the trial, things like reports, discs, and other discoverable material. The new attorney will use the index to cross reference to make sure he also has everything.
Also at issue was the victim’s Facebook profile. Dinkel’s attorney requested the victim’s password so he could have an expert gather some information from it. Judge Patrick Thompson denied that request. He said that Facebook has been served a warrant by the Saline County Attorney’s Office so information from the account can be gathered. That information will be shared with the defense.
Back in June Dinkel sought a pardon from Gov. Sam Brownback. A legal notice indicated that Dinkel applied for executive clemency, which would have freed her from prison.