Man Who Allegedly Raped Underage Teen Cites Kansas Abortion Law To Argue His Innocence
Jordon Ross insists the state’s decision that life begins at conception technically made the girl older than the age of consent.
LAWRENCE, KS — A man charged with the rape of an underage girl tried to argue that he is not guilty because the alleged victim would be nine months older — and legally able to consent to sex — under a 2013 Kansas abortion law that states life begins at conception.
In August 2017, Jordan Ross, then 19, brought the 15-year-old girl and her friend to a house party, where they were drinking and dancing.
The alleged victim told the court she eventually headed to an upstairs bedroom to hang out, and she recalled the door was open and the lights were on before she either fell asleep or blacked out.
When the teenager woke up, the door to the now-dark room was closed. Ross, who had not been present before, was undressing her as he held her down and raped her, she claimed.
According to the girl, she told him to stop and screamed, but he “pushed my head into the bed so that nobody could hear me.” The next day, she revealed to her mom what had happened and they went to the police.
Ross was charged with one count of rape using force or fear, but he claimed the sex was consensual.
Prosecutors recently hit Ross with a second charge of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, which does not take consent into consideration and only relies on proving a victim was 14 or 15 at the time of the incident and that the defendant acted “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.”
Defense attorney Cooper Overstreet called the late addition a “catch-22 being thrust upon Mr. Ross,” and, using the conception strategy, asked the court to dismiss the case altogether.
“Because of recent statutory amendments establishing that life begins at fertilization, the alleged victim in this case should be considered by this court as nine months older than her date of birth,” said Overstreet. “Because of this, at the time of the alleged incident, the alleged victim would have been 16 years old and thus a charge of aggravated indecent liberties is factually impossible.”
Despite the effort, Douglas County District Court Judge James McCabria denied the motion to dismiss the case.
Ross, now 21, is currently free on $20,000 bond and will likely go to trial in early 2019.