KS Supreme Court Denies Convicted Riley County Rapist's Petition

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Riley County rapist’s petition to have his case reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court has been denied.

Ben Hinchsliff, now 43, was convicted in Riley County in May of 2009 of 66 counts of rape and 11 counts of aggravated criminal sodomy.
Hinchsliff was arrested in July of 2008, accused of sexually assaulting a little girl over a 4.5 year period, starting from the time she was ten as often as once or twice a week. Officials say Hinchsliff is originally from Berryton, Kansas but was living in Manhattan when the crimes occurred.

The victim reported Hinchsliff’s sexual abuse in November of 2007, shortly after she turned 18 years old. She testified that the assaults stopped in July of 2005 but Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson says she waited so long to report the attacks because Hinchsliff prevented her from going to authorities. WIBW has not released the victim’s name or how she knew Hinchsliff in our coverage of the case in order to protect her identity. She is now 22 years old.

During his trial, Hinchsliff testified his own defense and denied any sexual abuse.

He was found guilty, convicted of 77 counts and was sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Hinchsliff later appealed on the grounds that the statute of limitations expired on some of the incidents before he was charged and that various evidentiary rulings and testimony at his trial prevented him from having a fair hearing in front of the jury. He wanted at least 44 of his convictions thrown out because of the five-year statute of limitations.

In September of 2011, the Kansas Court of Appeals set aside 21 of his convictions because they were filed outside of the statute of limitations. It did not have any impact on his prison sentence. The Court of Appeals found that Hinchsliff had a fair trial and upheld the bulk of his convictions. Out of his 77 convictions, 56 were affirmed. The Court of Appeals referred to the Hinchsliff case as a "chronic sexual abuse" case. In their memorandum opinion from September of 2011, the Court of Appeals states: “We find some of the charges against Hinchsliff were filed after the limitations period had run, though not nearly so many as he suggests. We vacate those convictions. But because of the way the trial judge sentenced Hinchsliff, our decision has no impact on the controlling term of imprisonment. We find no reversible error associated with the trial and, therefore, affirm in all other aspects.”

Hinchsliff then petitioned the Kansas Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeal’s decision. On March 8, 2012, the Supreme Court denied his petition.

Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson told 13 News: “I am very pleased with the decision from the Kansas Court of Appeals and equally satisfied by the Supreme Court’s decision to deny his petition for review. His crimes were horrific and he deserves to serve the sentence that’s been imposed.”

Hinchsliff’ is being held in the Lansing Correctional Facility, according to the website for the Kansas Department of Corrections. His earliest possible release date is 2055.

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