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Kansas Supreme Court upholds sentence in Rice County rape
icy main Jan. 2020
Ice on Main Street Great Bend, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. - photo by Daniel Kiewel

TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the summary denial of Jeffery S. Redding’s motion to correct an illegal sentence involving his sentences for rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

The court held the Rice County District Court did not violate Redding’s due process rights when it considered the State’s response to Redding’s motion without appointing counsel to represent Redding because viewing the State’s response was not the functional equivalent of a hearing. The court also rejected Redding’s argument that his departure sentence was illegal because the district court did not consider Redding’s written allocution as a second motion to further depart to a still shorter sentence.

Redding was charged with multiple counts of rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child based on allegations that he sexually abused his 4-year-old daughter and his girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter in 2010 and 2011. Pursuant to a signed plea agreement, Redding pled nolo contendere to one count of rape and one count of aggravated indecent liberties, in return for the State’s agreement to recommend a departure from the “hard 25” off-grid sentences under Jessica’s Law to the applicable on-grid sentences for his crimes, but to recommend that the on-grid sentences be imposed consecutively. The agreed-upon gridbox numbers translated to a 155-month sentence for the rape and 55-month sentence for the aggravated indecent liberties, for an aggregated sentence of 210 months, or 17.5 years.

Redding’s counsel filed a motion for a departure from the Jessica’s Law sentences, asserting that the substantial and compelling reasons to depart included his lack of criminal history, his age (33 years old), and his plea had spared the victims the trauma of testifying at a trial. The State concurred with the departure reasons. But Redding wrote a letter to the court in lieu of allocution in which he requested an even shorter sentence because he did not want to be away from his family, and he was concerned with his ability to resume employment in his chosen field if he were gone too long.