Panel of attorneys said Jackson County attorney mislead jurors in rape case

A panel of attorneys has recommended a former Jackson County special prosecutor in Kansas face ethics charges for allegedly misleading jurors who found a man guilty of sex crimes that were later thrown out on appeal.

The lawyers reviewed the Kansas Disciplinary Administrators Office’s investigation of attorney Jacqie Spradling and concluded there was sufficient evidence to believe she violated the state’s code of conduct in the 2017 convictions against Jacob Ewing for rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, battery, and other charges, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

When the Kansas Court of Appeals reversed the Holton man’s convictions in 2019, it said Spradling’s misstatement of evidence in closing argument of that trial inflamed “passions and prejudices of the jury” and denied Ewing his right to a fair trial.

A public hearing before a separate committee will follow to develop a recommendation for the Kansas Supreme Court about whether or how Spradling would be sanctioned   Potential penalties include public censure, license suspension or disbarment.

She did not immediately return a phone message left Monday at the Bourbon County attorney’s office.

Spradling also remains under scrutiny by the state disciplinary administrator’s office for her role in the Shawnee County murder trial of Dana Chandler, whose conviction was overturned in 2018.

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