HOLTON — Facing a full courtroom, a teenage girl on Thursday described how Jacob Ewing had taken her for a ride in his car one night, stopped at a rural cemetery and sodomized her.
She was 13 at the time. He was 19.
“It hurt. I was scared. I didn’t know where I was,” she said.
Prosecutors have accused Ewing, now 21, of raping and sodomizing five women, as well as the girl. Ewing, shackled and in drab jail garb, pleaded not guilty at the Jackson County Courthouse to charges in several cases brought against him.
The judge found probable cause to bind him over for trial in the case involving the girl. Thursday marked the final preliminary hearing for Ewing and he waived his right to a speedy trial.
The judge set trial dates that will have Ewing in court again and again over the next year.
The hearing took place hours after a former detective for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, who had been involved in the investigation into Ewing, filed a federal lawsuit alleging Sheriff Tim Morse had sought to suppress the investigation to aid his re-election bid. Morse vehemently denies the allegation.
The prosecution’s presentation at the hearing centered on the girl’s testimony of a night in March 2014, when County Attorney Shawna Miller charges Ewing took the girl for a car ride that ended in the assault. The girl said Ewing had contacted her on social media, and that she had gone to his home to hang out.
Then, they went for a drive.
“All he said was we were hanging out and going for a ride,” the girl said.
At the cemetery, Ewing got closer and closer, she said. They got out of the car, and with her facing the vehicle’s hood, Ewing anally penetrated her, she testified.
Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent Chris Nicholson said that in two recountings of the event, the girl had told Ewing to stop. In one telling, he had replied “no.”
The girl said that when he finished, Ewing threw something away from the car. She said she believes it was a condom.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Kathleen Ambrosia sought to draw out inconsistencies in the 15-year-old’s account.
The girl said that when she returned from the cemetery, she had been bleeding and had spoken with a friend from her apartment complex. Mark Malick, a senior special agent with the Kansas Bureau of Investigations, said based on the time when her friend lived at the complex, along with the girl’s interviews with law enforcement, where she said the assault had taken place prior to Easter 2014, they had placed the date of the assault during March that year.
Under defense questioning, the girl also testified the assault had taken place after school was out for the year, and she had been approached this summer by law enforcement about whether Ewing had assaulted her.
Initially, she told law enforcement that nothing had happened between her and Ewing.
“There’s a reason why, though,” the girl said.
She didn’t elaborate, but later said she had been afraid she would get in trouble with her father. The girl did later call 911 and report the assault.
Ambrosia also questioned the girl about why she hadn’t sought medical attention for the bleeding, which she said lasted for two weeks. The girl said it wasn’t enough blood to talk to the doctor about, and that she hadn’t had the courage to do so.
In earlier hearings, five women have testified about encounters with Ewing in which he raped or attempted to rape them. Police reports obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal and court testimony from some of the women, have also painted a portrait of a man inclined to party — typically with a handful of other men and just one or two women, many of whom were under the legal drinking age.
The legal proceedings have gripped Holton. Over the past several months, Ewing was arrested on sex crimes multiple times, but was also released time and again after posting bond.
Contact reporter Jonathan Shorman at (785) 295-5619 or