LARNED – A Hutchinson man facing a rape charge in Pawnee County made his first appearance in Pawnee County District Court Monday afternoon, County Attorney Douglas McNett said.
James Scott Thomas, 58, appeared before Magistrate Judge Julie Cowell and was advised he faces a single count of raping a victim who was “overcome by force or fear” in Pawnee County on or about Nov. 27, 2013. The complaint was filed by the Pawnee County Attorney Office on March 27.
The charge is a severity level 1 person felony and carries a presumptive prison sentence between 147 and 653 months with the Kansas Department of Correction depending on the defendant’s criminal history.
Thomas was arrested by the U.S. Marshall Service at his Hutchinson home on March 30 without incident and was being held in the Ford County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bond. Following the first appearance, the court reduced bond to $35,000 cash or surety.
The court further ordered that in the event the defendant posts bond, he is required to report regularly to Court Services, surrender his passport, not leave the state without Court Service’s permission, and have no contact, directly or indirectly, with endorsed witnesses.
Thomas did bond out under the above restrictions, McNett said. A Preliminary Hearing has been scheduled for May 1.