The Ford County Attorney's Office was able to reach another guilty verdict this week as a jury found Pablo Villa-Juarez, 25, of Dodge City, guilty of rape and several other charges on Thursday.

"The jury found Mr. Villa-Juarez guilty of rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, criminal restraint, aggravated sexual battery, and aggravated intimidation of a victim after just over one hour of deliberations," said Ford County Attorney Kevin Salzman.

The incident that led to the verdict took place on April 4, 2018, when law enforcement officers were dispatched to the 1400 block of 7th Avenue to meet with a woman who reported that Villa-Juarez had forced sex on her.

"In a subsequent interview with law enforcement, the woman detailed that she had gone over to Villa-Juarez’s home at his invitation because he wanted to talk with her," Salzman said. "There, Villa-Juarez forcibly removed her pants before fondling her, performing oral sex on her, and raping her.

"Villa-Juarez returned the woman to her home, but not before threatening to have a friend 'do the same thing' to her if she reported the incident to law enforcement.

"Villa-Juarez later confessed to raping the woman in an interview with Dodge City Police Department Detective Lee Kolbeck, but at trial argued that he did not understand what was being said in the interview and that the encounter with the woman was consensual."

According to Salzman, rape is a severity level 1 person felony, punishable by between 147 months and 653 months imprisonment in the Kansas Department of Corrections and up to $500,000 in fines.

Aggravated criminal sodomy is also a severity level 1 person felony and carries the same potential penalties.

Aggravated sexual battery is a severity level 5 person felony, punishable by between 31 months and 136 months imprisonment in the KDOC and up to $300,000 in fines.

Aggravated intimidation of a victim is a severity level 6 person felony, punishable by between 17 months and 46 months imprisonment in the KDOC and up to $300,000 in fines.

Criminal restraint is a Class A person misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 12 months incarceration in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

Following the verdict Salzman said, "On behalf of Ford County and the State of Kansas, I wish to thank the jury for their deliberations. The testimony and evidence in these types of cases are never easy to hear.

"Our office extends our gratitude to the jury for its service as well as to Dodge City Police Department officers Madeline Kolbeck, Shannon McGee, Michael Robbins, and Lee Kolbeck, as well as Amanda Guthrie, R.N., for their hard work and professionalism in investigating this matter.

"We hope this verdict will assist Mr. Villa-Juarez’s victim as she attempts to move forward from this incident."

Salzman and Assistant Ford County Attorney Jeffrey Martin presented the prosecution’s case against Villa-Juarez while Dodge City attorney Peter J. Antosh represented Villa-Juarez.

Sentencing will take place at a later date.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com