Janesville44.2°

Change of venue for Jarrett postponed

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ANN MARIE AMES
May 8, 2008
— The Janesville man accused of robbing a teenage Janesville couple and raping the girl wants his case heard by a jury from a different county, but his request will have to wait until he gets a new attorney.

Kenneth D. Jarrett, 20, no fixed address, is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of armed robbery in the Sept. 28 incident.


Defense attorney Cynthia Stoppel had filed a motion seeking a change of venue for the case, but Jarrett now has requested a different attorney, Stoppel said in court Wednesday.


Judge James Daley set Jarrett’s next court appearance for 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, so the new attorney could review the request for a change of venue.


Jarrett remains in custody at the Rock County Jail on a $150,000 cash bond.


The motion to change venue, filed March 18, states “an impartial trial cannot be had in Rock County.”


The affidavit supporting the motion cites articles from The Janesville Gazette and the Beloit Daily News.


According to the affidavit:


-- The Rock County community has been infiltrated and prejudiced by the inflammatory nature of the publicity, the degree of permeation of the publicity, the publication of inadmissible trial information and the timing and specificity of coverage.


-- Newspaper publications have made numerous references to Jarrett’s criminal record and juvenile record. Jarrett was convicted in juvenile court of sexually assaulting a child when he was 12.


-- The nature of the publicity was “inflammatory” and “rabble rousing.”


-- Print and media publications also included text of the criminal complaint against Jarrett, “latent hearsay,” information not subject to cross-examination and issues with relevance, reliability and prejudice.


According to other court documents, the two 14-year-old Janesville teens were walking near Wilson Elementary School on the edge of Monterey Park when a man with a knife approached them. The man told them to walk toward the school parking lot and demanded money, the complaint against Jarrett stated.


After the teens gave the man their money, he threatened the boy and told him to walk away. The girl said the man then threw her on the ground and assaulted her two different ways, the complaint stated.


The day after the assault, police arrested a different Janesville man who owned a jacket and smoked a brand of cigarettes left at the scene. Other evidence also pointed to him as a suspect.


He later was released and accused of muddying the waters of the investigation.


The girl picked Jarrett out of a photo lineup as the man who raped and robbed her.


After looking at photos, the boy told police he was 90 percent certain Jarrett was the man who had robbed him and assaulted his girlfriend, he told police.



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