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State v Prine

5-31-2013 Kansas:

State v Prine
No. 103,242.

This appeal returns to this court after retrial.

In 2009, we reversed defendant John Prine's 2004 convictions for rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, and aggravated indecent liberties because the district judge had erred by admitting evidence of Prine's sexual abuse of two victims other than the one making the allegations underlying this case. State v. Prine, 287 Kan. 713, 200 P.3d 1 (2009) ("Prine I").

The legislature responded to our decision by amending K.S.A. 60-455, see L. 2009, ch. 103, sec. 12. The district judge ostensibly applied the amended statute to admit the same evidence at Prine's retrial. Prine now challenges his new convictions and his sentence of 387 months' imprisonment.

His primary argument is the same that entitled him to reversal in 2009; it does not carry the day this time around.

Court's landmark decision closes loophole in child sex crime cases


The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld a conviction of a man accused of child sex crimes. It's a landmark decision that will close a loophole in prosecuting sex offenders.

A jury convicted then 38-year-old John Prine of rape, aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent liberties with a child in 2004. Investigators said the crimes occurred in December 2003, and involved a 6-year-old girl he was babysat.

Prine appealed the conviction, and was ordered a new trial after the court ruled that the evidence of the prior sex crimes against children was erroneously admitted at Prine's jury trial.

Kansas lawmakers adopted Senate Bill 44 after the Kansas Supreme Court reversed Prine's conviction in April of 2009. The measure was signed into law, allowing evidence of prior sex crimes to be admitted at the trial of someone charged with committing a sex crime against a child. Prine was then retried later that year using the same evidence and was again found guilty of rape, aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

Prine appealed his second conviction to the Kansas Court of Appeals. The case was transferred to the Kansas Supreme Court, with oral arguments presented on August 29, 2012.

The court upheld Friday that the amendment did not violate the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws. Under the new law, the Court recognized that evidence of prior sex crimes committed by a defendant may be admissible at a trial to prove the propensity of a criminal defendant to commit the charged crime or crimes for sex crime prosecutions.

Prine remains jailed on his 32-year prison sentence. He is expected to be released in 2031. ..Source.. by Jessica Reber

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