A former Ness City man will spend life in prison after being convicted on rape and Jessica’s Law charges in August, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Benito Cardenas Jr., 37, was sentenced today to life in the Kansas Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole for 25 years on each of the two convictions by District Judge Bruce T. Gatterman. Gatterman ordered the sentences to run concurrently. Cardenas was convicted in August by a Ness County jury of rape and aggravated criminal sodomy under Jessica’s Law. The crimes occurred in Ness City in September 2010. Cardenas was living in Dodge City at the time of his arrest in April 2011.
The State today also filed charges against Cardenas of aggravated escape from custody and felony theft. The State alleges that Cardenas escaped from the Ness County jail following his conviction in August. Cardenas was later apprehended in Trego County.
On the charges of escape and theft, Cardenas is presumed innocent unless and until the allegations against him are proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. His next court appearance is scheduled for December 11 at 11 a.m.
Assistant Attorney General Kristiane Bryant of Schmidt’s office is prosecuting the case.