Appeal No. 119,240: State of Kansas v. Dylan Montell Thomas
Archived oral argument video
Thomas was convicted in Wyandotte County District Court for rape, criminal threat, sexual battery, and battery. The Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions and the Supreme Court granted review of a single issue—whether the district court's jury instruction, which mirrors the Kansas rape statute, violated Thomas’ rights to due process by rendering rape a strict liability crime. In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Court acknowledged that even if Thomas is correct that Kansas law renders rape a strict liability crime, he failed to show that this violates his due process rights or is outside the Legislature's broad authority to craft criminal laws.