A judge has granted a motion to seal an application for state funding to pay an expert witness in the case of a man who is seeking additional forensic testing after a rape conviction.

A judge has granted a motion to seal an application for state funding to pay an expert witness in the case of a man who is seeking additional forensic testing after a rape conviction.

Kevin D. Skaggs, 41, was convicted in 2007 in Leavenworth County District Court of rape involving sex with a child younger than 14, aggravated criminal sodomy, sexual exploitation of a child and promoting obscenity to minors.

Skaggs was sentenced to 310 months, or 25 years and 10 months, in prison. He continues to serve the sentence with the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Skaggs, who maintains he is innocent, is seeking additional forensic testing of evidence from his case.

An evidentiary hearing on the matter is scheduled for Dec. 12.

Skaggs’ attorney, David Miller, has requested funding from the State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services to pay for the services of an expert witness who is expected to testify during the Dec. 12 hearing.

Miller previously said the expert will charge $3,000 for a report, which already has been prepared, and $3,000 for his testimony.

Miller requested his client’s application for the funding be sealed and not made public because it contains financial information.

During a hearing Friday, District Judge Michael Gibbens said he will allow the application to be sealed because it contains personal information.

But the judge said he will not seal an order he signed granting the request for the funding. Gibbens said the public has a right to know how much money is being spent.

County Attorney Todd Thompson had filed a written response asking the judge to deny the motion to seal the application. But Thompson did not appear for Friday’s hearing.

Gibbens said his assistant attempted to contact the County Attorney’s Office before Friday’s hearing.

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