Supreme Court to Hear Salina Case

The Kansas Supreme Court later this month will hear an appeal in a Saline County case involving  a former middle school counselor serving nearly 14 years in prison in a sex case involving a student.

In June of 2014 Brooke Dinkel was found guilty of sex crimes involving a 13-year-old student. A jury found the now 38-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 nearly 14 years in prison, and was ordered to be on lifetime supervision once released.

Since that time, Dinkel has retained new legal representation. They filed an appeal in 2016 seeking a trial. They contend that Dinkel did not receive proper representation during her trial.

The Kansas Supreme Court is is scheduled to hear the case on December 20th.

According to the court, Dinkel was granted a significant durational departure from a Jessica’s Law sentence. Instead of a hard-25 life sentence, she was sentenced to 165 months—just under 14 years—on each count to run concurrently. Dinkel appealed, and the Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed her convictions. Issues on review now by the Kansas Supreme Court are whether:

  1. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that state statute imposes absolute criminal liability on an adult victim who is raped by a child
  2. Dinkel was denied her constitutional right to present a defense by the exclusion of mental disease or defect testimony
  3. The Court of Appeals erred in holding the rebuttal testimony of a police officer was neither false nor improper
  4. Dinkel was denied the right to effective assistance of counsel

Dinkel’s earliest possible parole date is September of 2026.