A Dodge City woman booked in January on charges of rape, criminal sodomy, and sexual exploitation of a Marion County child has had charges dropped, so that stiffer federal charges may be filed against her.
County attorney Susan Robson dismissed without prejudice the charges against Ashley Marie Kelly, 24, who allegedly took inappropriate photographs of a Marion County child.
The nature of the charges would tend to indicate that the case involved a child between the ages of 14 and 17.
Robson said a federal prosecutor asked her to dismiss charges.
“Double jeopardy would have been attached to the case if I wouldn’t have dropped the charges; they couldn’t have charged her in federal court,” Robson said. “It appeared that the federal penalties were much harsher.”
Kelly also pleaded guilty to five of 23 counts of sexual exploitation in Ford County in January. Robson said Kelly is being held in Sedgwick County awaiting completion of her federal trial.