Archive for Thursday, July 14, 2005

VanAnn convicted of sex crimes

July 14, 2005

A former Eudora man was convicted of rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child Tuesday morning in Douglas County District Court after pleading no contest to the charges against him.

Mark A. VanAnne, 41, will be sentenced by Douglas County District Judge Jack Murphy at 4 p.m. on Aug. 8.

VanAnne was arrested in late March and originally was charged with five counts of rape, four counts of aggravated sodomy, and four counts of indecent liberties and one count of indecent solicitation of a minor. All the charges involved three children. The incidents happened between November 2001 -- at which time the oldest child was 13 -- and July 2004.

Only two charges remained because of a plea agreement struck between the Douglas County District Attorney's Office and VanAnne.

Dist. Atty. Charles Branson said his office moved forward with the plea agreement after consulting with the victims.

"These courageous young people have been through a lot," Branson said. "It took incredible strength on their part to come forward. We wanted to make sure they were protected, and it was decided that a plea would save them the stress of having to testify."

The agreement also calls for VanAnne to spend more than 17 years in prison, Branson said.

Wearing a yellow jumpsuit, VanAnne said in court that he understood that he was giving up his right for a trial and opportunities to appeal by pleading no contest to charges.

Assistant Dist. Atty. David Melton said in court that Van Anne had multiple sexual contacts with the victims at their Eudora home.

VanAnne forced the children into sexual acts while their mother was in the shower or away from home, Melton said. The Eudora Police Department investigated VanAnne after a complaint was filed with the department in October 2004.

VanAnne previously was charged with committing an act of lewd and lascivious behavior on Aug. 29, 2004. Court records show that he entered a plea of "no contest" to that charge on Jan. 24.

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