Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Evil, Violence and Abuse Beget Evil, Violence and Abuse

Rape Conviction - 40 years.
Judge sentences man to 40 years for rape  By DAWNE LEIKER

A 33-year-old Hays man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the rape of a Fort Hays State University student.  Allan Kari sat impassive throughout the sentencing hearing, except when expressing remorse to his victim and her family in a brief apology.

Kari was arrested on charges of rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated burglary and obstructing legal process Aug.25, 2008. He was convicted of the charges Sept. 22, 2009.
District Judge Tom Toepfer considered a forensic evaluation from Larned State Hospital and letters to the court from Kari, the victim's mother and the victim's father before handing down the sentence.

In his letter to the court, [the perpetrator] Kari wrote, "It's been extremely difficult for me to grasp the gravity and reality of this situation, and throughout this I've been hoping for a misunderstanding or miracle instead of facing the harsh truth in its entirety. In the end, I was made to face my actions and took accountability for the wrong I committed.
"I should've done it way earlier, but I was scared. Again, I'm sorry."
He asked for leniency from the court, allowing him to be remanded to the care of Larned State Hospital for treatment of multiple disorders including mental health and alcohol abuse.

Taking into account prior convictions of third-degree sexual assault and assault on a police officer in Colorado in 1995, plus his failure to register as a sex offender in Colorado in 2005, Kansas sentencing guidelines call for sentencing of 48.8 years in prison. "While that may seem excessive in this case, he certainly has a history," Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees said. "He has a failure to comply with society's rules and regulations."

Defense attorney Paul Oller sought leniency because Kari has a history of being abused as a child.
"Frankly, Mr. Kari is one of those individuals who has suffered trauma early on in his life and has since that time spent most of his life in psychiatric institutions, juvenile institutions or in prison," Oller said. "I think the forensic evaluation report certainly shows that those institutions have not served him very well.
"That isn't an excuse for his behavior in this case and doesn't help the victim, but it certainly does suggest that Mr. Kari's behavior is, in part, due to the traumatic effects of his childhood."

Toepfer handed down a sentence of 40 years, reducing it by 8.8 years due to the abuses suffered by Kari as a child.
"The bottom line is, it appears that given your mental state, that outside of a controlled structured environment, you are a dangerous person," Toepfer said after passing sentence. "You're a danger to society. I have an obligation to protect society in that regard, and I intend to do that in this particular case."
He sentenced Kari to the Kansas Department of Corrections, which will do an assessment to determine what facility will be appropriate for him to serve.
"I can recommend to the Department of Corrections that you continue to receive your psychotropic medicines and any mental health care that you need," Toepfer said. "If that includes periodic hospitalization, then so be it."
Kari will be awarded time served since Aug. 25, 2008, and will be eligible for parole in 32 years. He will be 65 years old.

Oller said Kari's case illustrates the gaps in societal systems that can lead to criminal activity.
"We have a system that hasn't adequately addressed the needs of children," he said. "It is an unfortunate commentary on our society that we have young people who are traumatized and end up doing very bad things to other people. It perpetuates itself."

Kari's sentencing brought some degree of closure to the victim's family.
The victim's father said he thought the sentencing was "reasonable," and he wasn't "full of anger or rage." 
"It's always going to hurt," he said, and added he understood there will be appeals and that the cycle of abuse often is "something that passes on from person to person."
"I'm not saying it's an excuse," the victim's father said. "But (Kari) was a victim, and he victimized someone else, and I just hope it stops here."
He said he knew from personal experience the lasting effects of living with abuse.
"I was abused as a child and went through the judicial system myself," he said. "I was in and out of juvenile halls and was in jail when I was 18.
"But that's no excuse for the choices that we make. We need to take responsibility for our own actions."

Drees said he anticipates the next step will be for the public defender's office to file an appeal on the sentence, and they will begin working through the appellate process.
Today's sentencing, he said, was "just one more hurdle."

So very sad on every level.
To read about the transmission of abuse from generation to generation,
read (from the ksu women's center staff page) here:

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