Attorney trying to arrange for DNA comparison in rape case
An attorney for a Leavenworth man who was convicted of rape more than 10 years ago is trying to arrange for his client’s DNA to be compared to a sample that recently was collected from a piece of evidence in the case.
Kevin D. Skaggs, 42, was convicted in 2007 in Leavenworth County District Court of three counts of rape, one count of aggravated criminal sodomy, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of promoting obscenity to minors.
The crimes reportedly occurred in 2004 and 2005 and stemmed from the sexual abuse of a child.
Skaggs was sentenced in 2008 to 310 months, or 25 years and 10 months, in prison. He remains in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections.
Skaggs maintains his innocence.
Late last year, a judge approved a request by Skaggs for new DNA testing of evidence from his case.
During a hearing Thursday, Skaggs’ attorney, David Miller, said an article of clothing that was evidence in the case had been tested at a lab.
Miller said he now wishes to have DNA evidence previously collected from his client in the case to be sent to the lab to be compared with a sample collected from the clothing.
County Attorney Todd Thompson said Skaggs’ earlier motion and the subsequent judge’s order only addressed the lab testing that recently was performed.
“Literally, that is all that was asked for,” Thompson said.
He said the additional testing being sought by Miller has not been approved.
Miller said the next logical step is to send the DNA sample of Skaggs to the lab for comparison.
“It’s not a request for additional testing,” Miller said. “It’s just a comparison.”
But Thompson argued this would require additional testing.
District Judge Gerald Kuckelman questioned why there would be an objection to a person having access to his own DNA profile.
Thompson said he wants to make sure things are done properly.
“This is a big deal,” he said.
Kuckelman asked Miller to file a request. He said the county attorney will have the opportunity to file a response.