A man facing more than 50 years in prison for raping a Great Bend woman will get a new jury trial, now that the Kansas Court of Appeals has overturned his conviction.
Steven Terry “Dewey” Jordan, 48, was convicted of rape, aggravated burglary and criminal damage to property in 2015. Because he was not allowed to present evidence that supported his theory of defense, that conviction has been set aside and a trial is scheduled for Oct. 9 in Barton County District Court.
At Jordan’s first trial, Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews and Assistant County Attorney Amy Mellor presented evidence and witnesses to show that around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2013, Jordan went to a house in the 1100 block of Morphy Street in Great Bend, broke the dead-bolt on the wooden front door, entered and raped a 22-year-old woman.
The defense presented a case in which they alleged the victim lied to police and to the jury about having consensual sex with the Jordan. Jordan said people had told him the woman was a “dope whore,” and that she agreed to have sex in exchange for a gram of methamphetamine worth $50 on the street and $20 cash. He claimed the sex was consensual but that he had not paid her afterward as promised. Because of that and fear that Jordan would tell her boyfriend, he claimed she lied to police.
The jury convicted Jordan on all counts. District Judge Ron Svaty sentenced Jordan to 620 months in prison for rape, 32 months in prison for aggravated burglary, and 6 months in jail for criminal damage to property, with the aggravated burglary and criminal damage to property sentences to run concurrently with the rape sentence.
However, Jordan argued that the district court violated his constitutional right to present his theory of defense by excluding relevant evidence; he was not allowed to present evidence of the woman’s prior drug use.
The Court of Appeals agreed and published an opinion on Jan. 12 stating, “Because we agree that Jordan was denied his right to present his defense, we reverse his convictions, vacate his sentences, and remand for a new trial.”