Jacob Ewing of Holton, Kan., was sentenced to more than 27 years in prison on Friday.
Ewing was found guilty in June of two counts of rape, four of aggravated criminal sodomy and two of battery in a case that has gripped this small Kansas town.
There were two rape survivors who testified during the June trial.
Before and during the trial, the survivors faced vitriol online from Ewing’s family and others who wrote that the survivors deserved to be imprisoned and that they were colluding to smear Ewing’s reputation.
Sexual assault experts say the scrutiny faced by survivors contributes to why these crimes are the most underreported.
One of the survivors told The Star before the sentencing that the only thing on her mind was how many years Ewing would be imprisoned.
“Anything under 40 years seems like it’s not enough,” said 19-year-old Justise, who is being named at her request, though her last name is being withheld to protect the identity of her relatives.
“No one wants to believe someone is capable of doing something like that,” Justise said, referring to rape. “Any parent doesn’t want to think their child is capable. But everyone is capable.”
Ewing also has an outstanding charge for attempted rape. His trial in that case is set for early October.