• Last modified 814 days ago (June 1, 2017)


Rape suspect convicted of lesser charge

Staff writer

A former Marion man accused of rape got a mixed verdict after a three-day trial last week.

Edwin M. Klenda, 56, was charged with rape and aggravated sexual battery in connection with an incident Feb. 3, 2015, in Marion.

Judge Michael Powers found Klenda not guilty on both charges but did find him guilty of a lesser charge of misdemeanor sexual battery.

Kansas law defines sexual battery as touching another without their consent but with the intention of arousing sexual desire.

Powers told the court that Klenda and the victim “have a long and complicated relationship” and maintained close contact.

The two saw the events of that day in different ways, and the woman’s story changed as she spoke with others about the event, Powers said.

Defense attorney Tim Karstetter called several witnesses, including the woman’s son, who testified that she exhibited self-harming behavior and made repeated efforts to draw attention to herself. The son testified she told “stories and lies.”

When Klenda took the stand in his own behalf Thursday morning, he testified that he was never aware of her showing any self-harming behavior.

Powers set sentencing for July 24. Kansas sentencing laws provide for up to a year in jail plus a fine.

Last modified June 1, 2017