TOPEKA (KSNT) — A Topeka woman worries her rapist will soon walk free because of a strict state sentencing law passed in 2012, years after he was sentenced.
For more than three years Chloe Howey was sexually abused by her adoptive father.
At the age of 13 she became pregnant and gave birth to her abuser’s son.
Now she worries that man will walk free, having served less than half of his original sentence.
“I honestly simply feel I’m in Hell because that is what it’s like,” said Howey.
Howey still can’t bring herself to believe the man who raped her more than a decade ago could walk free in a matter of days.
“I’m being served the life sentence. I’m being the one having to deal with this for the rest of my life,” said Howey.
Her adoptive father Michael Walter Hines Senior plead guilty to rape in 2007.
A judge sentenced him to 48 years in prison, but because lawmakers approved a change in sentencing guidelines several years ago, Hines now has a chance to appeal.
“I’m being forced to go in there and state what I believe in because if I don’t, he’s a free bird that day,” said Howey.
Old wounds have been ripped open. Howey is confronted again with memories of time spent in Hines’ home, the abuse, and the son she gave birth to at the age of 13.
“I’ve not been able to really sleep, I’ve not been able to really eat. My mind is racing. I feel three different ways. I mean, my stomach, my heart everything. I mean this is just so twisted,” said Howey.
Now Howey fears for her own safety, the safety of her son, and any others out there Hines could potentially harm.
“I have a family of my own, and I need to protect them and that’s not going to happen if he’s walking these streets,” said Howey.
The problem is the state’s hands are tied. They have to follow strict guidelines, but Howey isn’t done fighting yet.
“I know this isn’t going to go the way I want. I honestly want everyone to know that I’m not going to stop fighting for it,” Howey said.
A re-sentencing hearing for Michael Hines Senior is scheduled for Friday.
Howey plans to appear and testify again, otherwise Hines could potentially have a much shorter sentence.
KSNT News will be at that hearing to let you know what the court decides.