Report: Sex offender leaves prison after conviction overturned

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A convicted sex offender was released from a Kansas Dept. of Corrections facility Monday after his most recent conviction was overturned by the state’s Supreme Court, newscow.net reports

Corrections records show that 41-year-old Loarn Earl Fitzgerald II was released by court order from Ellsworth Correctional Facility. Because his Cowley County conviction was overturned it is no longer part of state corrections records online.

Fitzgerald does have an underage sex-crime conviction in Labette County from 2002. His sentence in that case expired in 2010.

In June 2014, Fitzgerald was convicted by a Cowley County jury of aggravated criminal sodomy involving a child under 14. A month later he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Fitzgerald appealed the conviction and attorneys argued he had been charged under a statute prohibiting a person from causing someone to engage in sodomy with a third party. Throughout the case, however, evidence showed that Fitzgerald had caused a friend’s daughter to engage in oral sodomy with him and not a third party.

Both an appeals court and the Supreme Court ruled the conviction reversible due to insufficient evidence. Former county attorney and now Cowley County Judge Chris Smith was the prosecutor in the case. The Supreme Court overturned the conviction in a ruling last month.

Fitzgerald cannot be retried in the case.

Ark City Police investigated the allegations against Fitzgerald, which were said to have occurred in late 2012 and early 2013.

Since the conviction was overturned, Fitzgerald left the prison a free man and will not be subject to post-release supervision.

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