TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former central Kansas middle school counselor convicted of raping a student will get a new trial to consider her arguments that the then-13-year-old boy forced her to have sex the first time and blackmailed her into continuing.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the attorney handling Brooke Dinkel's trial in 2014 did not provide her with an adequate defense and sent her case back to Saline County District Court.
A jury convicted Dinkel of two counts of raping a child under 14, and she was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison. She had been a counselor at Smoky Valley Middle School in Lindsborg.
The court split 4-3 on whether she received an effective defense from her attorney.
The majority, led by Justice Eric Rosen, said her lawyer presented her claims that she did not voluntarily have sex but did not adequately explain to the jury why that meant it should find her not guilty and did not ask the judge to provide unusual instructions on the law to jurors in keeping with “the uniqueness of the factual scenario.”
The dissenters, led by Justice Evelyn Wilson, a former trial-court judge, said the attorney's handling of the case was “objectively reasonable.”