Man Says Minor He Raped Was Old Enough Because Her Life Began at Conception

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 29, 2018   |   4:57PM   |   Topeka, KS

A man accused of raping a teenage girl bizarrely claimed he should not be charged with a crime against a child because, according to a Kansas law that says life begins at fertilization, the girl had reached the age of consent.

The judge did not buy it.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports Douglas County District Court Judge James McCabria denied the motion submitted on behalf of the accused, Jordan Ross, 21, of Topeka, Kansas, this week.

His attorney, Cooper Overstreet, argued that Ross should not be convicted of aggravated indecent liberties with a child because the girl was not really a child. He claimed the state pro-life law recognizing that life begins at conception would make the girl 16, rather than 15, at the time of the incident. The age of consent in Kansas is 16.

Ross is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl at a house party in August 2017 in Lawrence; he was 19 at the time, according to the report.

“Because of recent statutory amendments establishing that life begins at fertilization, the alleged victim in this case should be considered by this court as nine months older than her date of birth,” Overstreet argued in the motion. “Because of this, at the time of the alleged incident, the alleged victim would have been 16 years old and thus a charge of aggravated indecent liberties is factually impossible.”

Judge McCabria denied the motion, calling it “absurd.”

Here’s more from the AP:

In arguing against Overstreet’s motion, Prosecutor Alice Walker cited a Kansas Court of Appeals opinion that said the state’s law defining life as beginning at conception applied to public health codes, not to criminal codes. Age is calculated by birth date, and redefining that to equate with “life beginning at conception” would “introduce an unacceptable uncertainty into the criminal law,” according to the opinion.

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“Courts must construe statutes to avoid unreasonable or absurd results,” the appeals judges wrote.

Ross was scheduled to go to trial Monday but McCabria delayed the trial after Overstreet said he needed time to change his defense plan.

The teenager accused Ross of holding her down on a bed and raping her during a party in 2017, according to her testimony. “[He] pushed my head into the bed so that nobody could hear me,” she testified.

Ross claimed it was consensual.

His trial has been rescheduled for 2019, according to the report.