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New trial ordered for Holton man convicted in rape cases

The Kansas Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a man whose conviction of two rape cases divided his small northeast Kansas town.

The court on Friday said mistakes by the prosecutor denied 24-year-old Jacob Ewing of Holton a fair trial.  Ewing was convicted in June 2017 of two counts of rape and several other offenses.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Ewing argued in his appeal that special prosecutor Jacqie Spradling misstated evidence in her closing arguments that inflamed the “passions of the jury.”  He also argued the court made other errors in allowing some evidence in his trial.

The appeals court ruled the cumulative effect of the errors required that Ewing get a new trial.

The allegations against Ewing, a member of a well-known family, divided Holton, a town of about 3,300 residents.

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