Petitioning Governor Sam Brownback and 7 others

George Ferenz is Innocent: Demand justice for a falsely accused veteran.

George Ferenz does not belong behind bars. We cannot allow an innocent man to spend his life in prison. He served his country honorably and we must now step up and protect his rights. We must fix this wrongful conviction. Give George a fair and just trial to prove his innocence.

Letter to
Governor Sam Brownback
Kansas State House
Kansas State Senate
and 5 others
Commissioner of the City of Manhattan Usha Reddi
Commissioner of the City of Manhattan Rich Jankovich
City of Manhattan Commissioner Karen McCulloh
Law Enforcement Agency Board Mayor Pro Tem Wynn Butler
City of Manhattan Mayor John Matta
October 22nd, 2012
Update Message From Harold and Cynthia Ferenz

On October 21, 2013, George was sentenced to life in prison, with a possibility of life on parole in 25 years. He was found guilty of four charges. Two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy.
The jury foreman and his wife attended the sentencing hearing. I asked him why he and the jury found my son guilty. He told me that they found my son guilty because of the testimony of the alleged victim. He said they believed her (a seven year old child) and not my son. He said they gave credibility to her statement because she was interviewed the day after the alleged incident. He also said that they didn't think she was coached. I asked him about the lack of DNA and any other physical evidence and the inconsistencies of prosecution witness testimony, including the perjury from the alleged victims’ mother. Again, he said they convicted him because of the girls’ testimony. There were five women and seven men on the jury. According to the foreman the women all thought my son was guilty on day one of the trial. Some of the men were not sure. The only evidence they asked to review when they went into deliberations on September 12, 2013 was the recorded interview of the alleged victim from October 22, 2012 and the transcript of her testimony from September 11, 2013. In that testimony she stated she could not remember the alleged touching incidents. From all appearances the jury ignored the instructions from the judge to consider all of the evidence and testimony presented during the trial and instead focused only on the testimony of the alleged victim. I asked our attorney if that was legal and the answer was, yes. Our family just does not understand how that can be legal and allowed to stand when it goes against the judge's instructions to the jury.

A terrible injustice has occurred. As you read this, a US Army Veteran sits in a prison cell in the state of Kansas. He has been sentenced to life in prison for a crime that he did not commit. George’s story is one that deserves justice and equality, and in order for this to be possible we must pressure the Kansas courts to allow for a retrial of his case. We are asking for your help and support in our search for justice.

George Ferenz joined the military in 2009 as a 19K M1 Armor Crewman. He served a combat tour in Afghanistan, fighting on the ground for 9 months and earning the Combat Action Badge. He completed his service in June of 2013. His friends, family, and neighbors all know him to be an upstanding, honest, and hardworking person with no criminal record whatsoever. The allegations against him are in no way representative of George.

George’s ex-wife has alleged that he sexually abused her daughter on October 21st, 2012. The alleged victim’s mother has a history of fabrication, false allegations, alcohol abuse and attempted suicide. On numerous occasions she contacted his army superiors alleging that he was being unfaithful and abusive, only to later recant and admit that her goal was to get George into trouble with the authorities. Riley County police reports list two occasions when she was intoxicated and tried to commit suicide. On the second occasion she was babysitting four children including her infant son. The officers put in charge of the investigation completely ignored George’s claims of false accusation and focused solely on securing a conviction. A primary detective in the case made false statements on her affidavit for the original arrest warrant.

The Army conducted an inquiry into the allegations and reviewed the criminal case evidence from Riley County. After a thorough investigation, and a military administrative board hearing to determine if he should be discharged for commission of a serious offense, the verdict reached by the officials was that he was innocent of all charges.

George Ferenz left the army with honor and dignity. That honor and dignity was stripped away from him on September 12th, 2013. The trial itself lasted a bare two and a half days. The prosecutor overstated the probative value of testimony and evidence. The mother gave inconsistent testimony and perjured herself on the stand. One medical expert witness for the prosecution gave testimony that directly conflicted with her original examination report. Most important of all, the alleged victim’s testimony did not correspond with her recorded statements from the original forensic interview and testimony at the preliminary hearing. At one point in the preliminary hearing she stated that she might have imagined it. By the time the prosecution rested their case the lack of evidence was such that the judge dropped one of the charges entirely.

So how is it the jury still found him guilty? The jury ignored the lack of any physical evidence and other testimony, along with evidence introducing reasonable doubt, and from all appearances convicted him solely because of the alleged victim’s statement. Under Kansas law, the jury was not aware that a guilty verdict for any count meant a mandatory life sentence. They also were not allowed to be informed of the military board's findings which stated that George was innocent.
George Ferenz is the victim of an incompetent law enforcement investigation, lies from witnesses, and a broken justice system. Now he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life behind bars because of those lies. His sentencing date is set for October 21st, 2013, where we will file a motion for a retrial. We are asking for your support in finding justice for George. We are determined to not allow this to end with a guilty verdict. We are asking the District Courts of Riley County to grant George a retrial and give him a fair chance to prove his innocence.

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