Attorney cites state’s abortion law in sexual assault case

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An attorney for a Lawrence man accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl tried arguing that the charge should be dismissed because Kansas law says life begins at fertilization.

Defense attorney Cooper Overstreet wrote that the state’s definition of life would make the girl 16, not 15, when the assault occurred.

He said that meant his client, 21-year-old Jordan Ross, of Topeka, couldn’t be guilty of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, because the age of consent in Kansas is 16.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports Douglas County District Court Judge James McCabria rejected Overstreet’s motion.

In their argument against the motion, prosecutors cited an earlier state appeals court ruling that the Kansas abortion law defining life beginning at conception applied to public health and not to the criminal code.

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