Polarizing sexual assault accusations divide Kansas town

Jacob Ewing (Courtesy: KSNT)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – The northeast Kansas town of Holton will be torn again next week as the second in a series of trials starts for a well-known local man accused of sexually assaulting several women.

The polarizing accusations against 22-year-old Jacob Ewing in this community of some 3,300 people have prompted his supporters to put up signs in their yards and to pack court proceedings wearing T-shirts emblazoned with messages of support.

An advocacy group for the women called “I Support the Victims of Jacob Ewing” is organizing volunteers to sit in the courtroom.

Ewing was acquitted in May of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl, but faces trials on rape accusations levied by five adult women.

The trial that begins Monday is on charges of rape and aggravated criminal sodomy involving two women.