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Former Ness City man found guilty on Jessica's Law charges


Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

NESS CITY -- A former Ness City man was found guilty Wednesday of rape and aggravated criminal sodomy under Jessica's Law, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Benito Cardenas Jr., 37, formerly of Ness City, was convicted by a jury of the two charges, both off-grid person felonies. Because the victim was younger than 14, the charges were filed under provisions of Jessica's Law, which carries a possible sentence of life in prison.

The crime occurred in Ness City in September 2010. Cardenas was living in Dodge City at the time of his arrest in April 2011.

Judge Bruce T. Gatterman presided over the trial in Ness County District Court.

Assistant Attorney General Kristiane Bryant of Schmidt's office prosecuted the case. The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Ness County Sheriff's office assisted by the Attorney General's office.