Friday, November 04, 2005


While he's still under "house arrest," after 5-1/2 years in prison, he's finally out! Since yesterday evening, he's been with his aunt and uncle, on a farm, under the big beautiful Kansas sky.

The AP wire story wasn't written by the guy who'd been following the story for years, John Hanna, and is poorly written, to say the least. Just notice this one sentence, and the different account by the KANSAS CITY STAR -

AP: "The defendant appeared in court Thursday handcuffed and wearing in a
bright orange jumpsuit, smiling and waving to family members."

KANSAS CITY STAR: "At Thursday’s hearing, Limon appeared in orange jail clothing with his hands shackled at the waist. His long hair was pulled into a ponytail. As Limon waited for his attorneys and the judge to enter the courtroom, his leg constantly twitched.Attorney Byron Cerrillo later said his client was 'nervous, very nervous.'"

Here's the full KANSAS CITY STAR account. - normally, I'd link to it, but you'd have to register.

Defendant in gay sex case released from Kansas jail


The Kansas City Star

PAOLA, Kan. — After serving five years in prison, part of a sentence that the Kansas Supreme Court recently ruled was unfair, Matthew Limon is no longer behind bars.

The 23-year-old was released from the Miami County Jail on Thursday evening and will stay with relatives in Deerfield in western Kansas. According to a court affidavit, Limon will work on his aunt and uncle’s farm while the Miami County attorney and the attorney general’s office decide their next moves.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Oct. 21 that the state can’t punish homosexual underage sex more harshly than heterosexual activity. The ruling was heralded as a victory for gay rights.

In 2000, when Limon was 18, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison for having consensual sex with a 14-year-old boy while both were attending a Paola school for the developmentally disabled. If Limon had been convicted of having sex with a 14-year-old girl at age 18, under Kansas’ so-called Romeo and Juliet law, he would have received a maximum sentence of 15 months.

Miami County Attorney David Miller, who Thursday said he thought the 17-year sentence was correct, has until Nov. 26 to decide whether to file different charges against Limon.

The state attorney general’s office has until late January to decide whether to appeal the ruling.

Though Attorney General Phill Kline initially said he had no plans to appeal, Miller said Thursday that had changed.

“They have not decided whether or not they’ll” appeal, Miller said after a motion hearing discussing Limon’s release.

If no new charge is filed, Limon could be free from supervision. But if Miller charges Limon, he could be jailed again with the possibility of posting a bond.

At Thursday’s hearing, Limon appeared in orange jail clothing with his hands shackled at the waist. His long hair was pulled into a ponytail. As Limon waited for his attorneys and the judge to enter the courtroom, his leg constantly twitched.

Attorney Byron Cerrillo later said his client was “nervous, very nervous.”

Limon’s attorneys asked Miami County District Judge Richard Smith to release Limon under strict conditions, requiring him to stay with his aunt and uncle, not have contact with children, and attend sex-offender treatment and counseling.

They also asked that Limon be allowed to go to church on Sundays.

“Matthew has God in his life,” said Cerrillo, of the Johnson County public defender’s office. “He would sit with (his aunt and uncle) and go home.”

Smith said he would agree to release Limon, but not until his attorney could arrange for his release to be monitored by a qualified agency.

At first, it wasn’t clear whether that could be arranged on Thursday.

So attorneys and seven of Limon’s family members left the courtroom disappointed, thinking Limon wouldn’t be released Thursday. Family members left the courtroom without commenting.

“We had high hopes,” said Cerrillo immediately after the hearing. “But the judge said if we can get someone … he’ll release him. Hopefully, it’s just a phone call.”

Within two hours, Cerrillo and Attorney Paige Nichols were able to line up supervision, and Limon was released.

One condition that Smith included in the release order was for Limon to stay at his aunt and uncle’s home until Nov. 26, when the deadline for filing charges expires and the case is released from his jurisdiction.

In an affidavit requesting that her nephew live with her and her husband, Adrian Price told the judge that Limon would be well supervised.

“Matt has told me that he does not like cities because he gets confused and overwhelmed, so he will rarely, if ever, leave the farm without one of us,” Price wrote. “If Matt is allowed to live with us while the attorney general is deciding whether to ask for further review, we will keep him busy working on the farm and will encourage him to finish his high school education.”