LAWRENCE, Kan. (WDAF) – The Douglas County District Attorney says she will appeal the sentence of a convicted rapist.
A judge suspended a 115-month prison sentence for 23-year-old Ray C. Atkins, Jr., of Lawrence. The decision means Atkins will serve five years probation instead of time behind bars as long as he follows the terms of the sentence.
Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez says she does not agree with the sentence, and in this case, there is something she can do about it.
“Sentencing is left to the sole discretion of the judge but Kansas law provides a narrow set of circumstances under which the State is authorized to appeal a district court’s rulings,” District Attorney Valdez said. “As I had announced in July regarding a case involving the court’s granting probation in a child sex conviction, the State is exercising its statutory right to seek a review of the sentencing decision in the interest of justice for sexual assault survivors and community safety.”
In August, a jury convicted Atkins of raping a then 17-year-old at a Lawrence home in July 2019.
Court documents show the teenager lived in Wichita and was staying at a home near 29th and Belle Haven Drive in Lawrence when the crime happened.