Robert Gene Lile fought the labels of rapist, sexual predator and pedophile all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
He lost. The court ruled in 2002 that Liles rights against self-incrimination werent violated by a Kansas program for sex offenders. Lile hadnt wanted to complete the part of the treatment that would have had him admit guilt and recount his sexual history, with the possibility of new charges being filed for what he revealed.
The following year, Lile completed 20 years of a life sentence for the 1982 rape of a 16-year-old girl in Johnson County.
Liles previous legal fight with the state makes the new charges filed last week chillingly predictable.
His latest alleged victim is a 14-year-old from Topeka.
Shes a talented, beautiful girl who has spent a few years traveling the state, racking up experience and wins at small-town country music contests.
Now, she has the horror of a trial to face, her memories of allegedly being held against her will at knifepoint and repeatedly raped by Lile, who gained her trust by pretending to be a music manager.
The questions now are about how legally constrained the state was in monitoring Lile, 55, since his 2003 release. He was discharged from parole in 2006.
Because his conviction came before Kansas began its sexual offender registry, he was never listed. That status could have limited his ability to be near the talent contests where he allegedly met the victim, much less his ability to assume the role of managing such youth.
According to online Kansas Department of Corrections records, Lile never resided at Larned State Hospital, where the states Sexual Predator Treatment Program is located.
Last year, several Kansas legislators raised questions about the effectiveness of that program, saying it had become overcrowded.
Such programs tend to include the very things that Lile argued so strongly against: accepting responsibility and admitting past harmful behaviors. Descriptions also talk about the need for sexual predators to accept the deviant cycles involved in such behavior. The programs lean heavily on the belief that people can change, or at the very least be monitored to the point that they keep their worst demons at bay.
It certainly doesnt appear that Lile changed.
In the first case, he claimed sex with the teenager was consensual. The trial convicted him of aggravated kidnapping, rape and aggravated sodomy. His victim testified he lured her by pretending to have car trouble.
This time, Lile was charged in Nashville. Hed taken the girl there to perform at an event billed as Americas largest country music talent search.
To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.