Removed GoFundMe not for Jacob C. Ewing’s legal defense, mother says

A GoFundMe page that solicited help from the public for the family of Jacob C. Ewing, a man charged with rape and related crimes, earned more than $1,500 before it was removed Tuesday afternoon.

 

Wendy Ewing created the page Monday evening and said the funds would support her family, but wouldn’t provide details about what she had planned to do with the money. The page, called “#justiceforjake,” had been deleted by noon Tuesday but gained $1,665 contributions toward a goal of $5,000.

“I don’t think it’s anybody’s business what it’s going for, but it’s not going for legal fees,” she said in a phone call Tuesday night.

Later this month Jacob Ewing, 22, heads to court for the first of four trials later this month after five women and a teenage girl accused him of sex crimes.

The page made no mention of the charges he faces.

“Recently we have had some legal issues that are scary and common for young men his age,” the fundraiser description read under a photo of Jacob and Wendy. “Jake is looking at some serious accusations and I will continue to support him.”

Ewing was first arrested last May in connection with rape and battery of an 18-year-old woman. He was in and out of jail repeatedly late last spring as Jackson County prosecutors filed subsequent charges related to accusations from four other women. Law enforcement and prosecutors also claim that in 2014, Ewing sexually assaulted a girl, who was 13 at the time, in a rural cemetery. Ewing was 19 when that incident occurred, according to court records.

GoFundMe, a website that hosts online fundraisers, didn’t respond to an inquiry from The Topeka Capital-Journal. It wasn’t clear whether the “#justiceforjake” campaign was removed voluntarily or GoFundMe deleted the page. It was also unclear whether anyone would receive the money donated before the campaign’s removal.

Comments calling attention to accusations of rape were deleted from both the GoFundMe page and similar Facebook posts. Savhannah Jeane, a woman who has attended several hearings in the case to support a woman who has accused Ewing of sexual assault, was one of the people whose comments were deleted.

“I want to see justice — justice for the girls that your son hurt,” she wrote in her post. “This post makes me sick to my stomach as a survivor. And I want you to know that. And I want everyone who donates to know that.”

Most of the contributions came from 13 people within the first three hours the page was online. The bulk of donations were in smaller amounts, according to a list available on the page before it was taken down, but some donors gave upward of $250 and an anonymous donor gave $500.

“Will never stop fighting for Jake!!” Sarah Crawshaw wrote with her $250 donation.

Josh Dunn cited Philippians 4:13, a Bible verse that reads, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength,” with his donation of $250.

“Keep your faith, and do not stop believing,” Dunn’s post read. “What is right is going to come, justice will come. Praying for things to get better, one day at a time!”

Contact reporter Luke Ranker at (785) 295-1270 or @lrankerNEWS on Twitter. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/lukeranker.

PowerPlayer
Accused of rape by multiple women, Jacob Ewing pleads not guilty after teenage girl testifies against him
Lawsuit: Jackson County Sheriff tried to suppress investigation of accused rapist Jacob Ewing; sheriff calls claims 'baseless'
Jacob Ewing sexually assaulted 13-year-old girl at cemetery, KBI agent reports in affidavit
Judge on merit of rape charge in Jacob Ewing case: 'Is this 50 Shades of Grey or 50 shades of illegal?'
Jacob Ewing served warrant for sixth set of sex crimes; victim under 14
Four women testify about rape, attempted rape during Jacob Ewing preliminary hearing in Jackson County
 

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