Hillsboro man found guilty of rape

by Patty Decker

The Free Press

A 43-year-old Hillsboro man was found guilty of rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child Wednesday in Marion County District Court.

Randy Herbel was convicted by a 12-member jury of six men and six women following the two-day trial that started Tuesday. District Court Judge Barry Bennington of St. John presided.

?I am relieved it?s over and justice was served,? said Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning, who arrested Herbel almost three years ago.

?I hope the conviction brings closure for everyone,? he said.

Herbel?s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9, according to court documents.

Both rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child are considered high-level person felonies, Kinning said, and Herbel could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole in either 25 or 50 years.

The amount of time depends on whether his convictions run concurrent or consecutive.

Herbel?s sentencing falls within Jessica?s Law, designed to punish sex offenders and reduce their ability to re-offend.

Kansas enacted Jessica's Law on July 1, 2006, exactly one month before Herbel committed the rape and indecent liberties with a child in his Hillsboro home.

Herbel?s conviction stems from incidents reported Aug. 1-2, 2006, by the 5-year-old herself and other interviews and evidence.

Herbel was initially charged with two counts of rape, but the jury Wednesday found him not guilty on one of the rape charges stemming from his actions with the child Aug. 1, 2006.

However, the jury did find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Herbel did commit rape on his Aug. 2, 2006, encounter with the child.

He was also found guilty for aggravated indecent liberties for causing trauma to the child.

More details will appear in the Wednesday, July 22, edition of the Hillsboro Free Press.



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