Taylor Hirth said she was in good spirits Thursday after a Jackson County judge sentenced her rapist to 30 years in prison.
William Luth, 26, of Blue Springs, Missouri, pleaded guilty Thursday for breaking into Hirth’s apartment in February 2016 and raping her in front of her then two-year-old daughter.
Hirth reported the incident, had a rape kit done and turned in DNA evidence to Independence police, but she has criticized how the department handled the case.
Luth is serving a 41-year prison sentence for raping a Johnson County sheriff's deputy later that year.
Brady Newman-Caddell, 23, of Independence, Missouri, has been charged in both cases.
Newman-Caddell was set to be sentenced Wednesday in Johnson County, but withdrew his guilty plea and requested a trial, prompting his defense attorney to drop the case.
Hirth was in the Johnson County court Wednesday along with the deputy and another woman who alleges she was abused by Newman-Caddell. She said they all were surprised by his change of plea.
“Once again we’re just kind of getting pulled along by the system. Everything is getting delayed, and we’re all waiting for closure,” she said.
Newman-Caddell will be assigned a new defense attorney before his next court appearance on Feb. 7.
Hirth said she has been vocal about her story, in part, because if someone had been victimized in the past and decided to get a rape kit, her own rape may never have happened.
“You start to realize just how damaging and impactful it is when somebody holds it to themselves and doesn’t come forward and try to seek their own justice,” she said. “It’s hard, and it’s long, and it’s painful, but it’s just going to keep happening again until people find it within themselves to fight back.”