Monday, July 11, 2005

 

“Two Cents” Lets Do It Like the Chinese

I was unable to link to this news article in the Olathe Daily News
so I have posted the complete article.


This must be a great comfort to her, her family, and the community at large.

Prosecutors charged a convicted rapist late Monday afternoon in the July 2 attack of a 17-year-old Olathe girl who was walking on Indian Creek Greenway Trail. Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison filed a charge of rape against Matthew J. Cullen, 27, in the incident. Cullen, a former Olathe resident, was picked up Thursday on a parole violation and has been held in the Wyandotte County jail since then. He had been living in a halfway house in Kansas City, Kan. Morrison said because Cullen was incarcerated Thursday, it gave his office time to collect solid evidence against him through forensic testing and other evidence before filing the formal charge.

Olathe police reported that the attack took place at about 4:45 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon as the 17-year-old girl was walking on the trail. She reported that a man she didn't know approached her and spoke with her and asked her to look at something off the path. Away from the trail, she said the man attacked and sexually assaulted her. A passing cyclist saw what was happening, and the suspect fled on foot. Morrison said Cullen was a suspect from early in the investigation based on the victim's physical description of him and his prior offenses.

Cullen pleaded guilty in July 2000 to the 1999 rape of a 14-year-old girl. According to testimony in the 1999 case, the girl was acquainted with Cullen and let him into her home when he asked to use the telephone. He handcuffed her hands behind her back and shoved her head into a toilet while trying to rape her. She fought back, and Cullen fled the house. He was arrested nearby.

Prosecutors charged him with rape and kidnapping in that case, but dropped the kidnapping charge in a plea bargain. Cullen pleaded guilty to raping the girl and received a sentence of 10 years and two months in prison, double the normal sentence. The U.S. and Kansas Supreme Courts later ruled the type of extended sentence Cullen received unconstitutional, and he filed an appeal that resulted in his sentence being cut in half. Morrison again filed the kidnapping charge he had once dropped for the plea bargain.

"If you want to get the benefit of a plea deal, then take it, but you can't have it both ways," Morrison said. "... I didn't think it was fair, and I was angry because I felt like the public got taken advantage of by Matthew Cullen." The kidnapping charge against Cullen went to the Kansas Supreme Court, which ruled it unconstitutional in December 2004. "They said, 'You can't do that,' and effectively cut him loose," Morrison said. "So this is what happens."

Morrison said Cullen's is one of the most frustrating sex offender cases the district attorney's office has prosecuted in the last decade because of the court struggle and his early release. "It's just unfortunate that people have to get hurt," he said. Morrison said he wanted to keep Cullen behind bars after his first conviction. "We obviously consider him to be a very dangerous and active sex offender," he said. Cullen was released from the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections on May 11, less than two months before the attack on the 17-year-old Olathe girl. Cullen's first appearance in court has not been scheduled yet. Morrison said it could be as early as today. Cullen's bond will be set at that appearance.
As long as his rights weren’t violated everything will be alright; and for the 14-year old girl who was handcuffed with her hands behind her back, and then shoved head first into a toilet, while some scumbag was attempting to rape her....

Well she'll just have to suck it up.

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