In July 2006, 23-year-old Jason Ellison was accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s 23-year old sister in Lawrence, Kansas. At the time, Ellison was living in the home with his girlfriend, the sister and their mother.
The victim reported the assault to her parole officer who notified police and Ellison was charged with one count of attempted aggravated criminal sodomy and one count of aggravated sexual battery.
At trial in Douglas County District Court, the victim testified to being assaulted, although other witnesses whom she said she had told of the assault testified that she told them only that Ellison had looked at her inappropriately.
Ellison, who had a record of prior convictions, including aggravated assault, indecent liberties with a minor and battery, was convicted of aggravated sexual battery on November 15, 2006, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
In 2009, Ellison, after losing his appeal, wrote to the Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies at the University of Kansas School of Law.
A law student assigned to the case located four witnesses who said the victim had a reputation for lying and that the victim had said on several occasions that she had fabricated the charges against Ellison. At the time of the accusation, Ellison had broken up with the victim’s sister over accusations that he was cheating on his girlfriend.
A motion for a new trial was filed and a hearing was held in July 2011. Four witnesses, all of whom were related to the victim, said the victim had admitted the charges were false.
One witness, Sherrie Born, testified that the victim told her in 2008 that she had concocted the allegations. Another witness, Kyle House, a cousin of the victim (and also Ellison’s stepbrother), testified that at a party in 2009, the victim said that Ellison had not assaulted her.
On July 29, 2011, Chief District Court Judge Robert Fairchild granted the motion for a new trial.
On October 7, 2011, the prosecution dismissed the charges and Ellison was released.
– Maurice Possley