Sentencing in the Jeffrey Allen Rankin versus the State of Kansas case was continued from April 4, the Tribune learned Tuesday morning. According to the Barton County Attorney’s office, the new date is tentatively set for 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 24. Rankin plead guilty Feb. 2, 2018, on two charges of sexual exploitation of a child.
According to assistant Barton County Attorney Doug Matthews, the continuance was requested by the defense, and the State objected. The judge, however, found there was good cause and granted the request.
Denise Rankin, Rankin’s ex-wife, expressed frustration Tuesday morning that the sentencing had been delayed the day before it was scheduled. She was notified by a victim’s advocate from the Barton County Attorney’s office of the continuance. She has been vocal about handling of this case since Matthews accepted the plea bargain days before the case was set to be heard by a jury.
Each of the two guilty pleas was to a charge that Rankin had a digital image — thumbdata embedded jpgs — in which a person under 18 was shown engaging in sexually explicit conduct, on March 16, 2016. Sexual exploitation of a child is a level 5 person felony.
The original charges alleged crimes against two minors, dating from as early as July 1, 2011.
He was originally charged with 31 counts, including rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child under 14 years old, sexual exploitation of a child, stalking and violation of protective orders.
Judge Richard Smith will preside over the sentencing later this month. On Nov. 13, 2017, Smith ordered the first 11 charges against Rankin dropped because the State exceeded the 180-day limit for those charges.