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Sex crime re-sentencing yields parole distinction for father

A Kansas man has been re-sentenced in connection with alleged sex crimes perpetrated against his daughter. The man, age 43, had been sentenced to two life terms for sex crimes including aggravated indecent liberties with the girl, along with allegations of rape. The man's sentence also included a lifetime of post-release supervision. However, the Kansas Court of Appeals determined that the appropriate sentence should have included parole instead of the invasive supervision requirement.

The case was already somewhat unusual because the defendant requested permission to withdraw his "no contest" plea and continue the case to trial. The man had already been sentenced, however. Although the judge considered the motion, he did not find any reason to permit withdrawal of the plea.

The man argued that his plea should be withdrawn because the victim chose not to testify. When the man entered his plea in May 2013, however, he told the court that he did not want to subject his daughter to testifying in the sex crime case. The sexual assault allegedly occurred as early as 2009, when the victim was just 8 years old. The girl never appeared because of her father's own request.

With the new sentence, the man will still serve two concurrent life sentences. However, he will be eligible for parole when he has served 25 years. If the man is released from prison, he will be required to register on the sex offense registry in the state of Kansas.

This sentence change may seem minor -- it did not effectively lessen the length of the man's life sentences -- but it does give the defendant additional hope that he could one day be released from custody. In many cases, pursuing the fair sentencing protocol can make a difference in a contrite defendant's future. Every criminal defendant deserves to be sentenced according to the law rather than simply receiving a term that pleases the judge.

Source: 6 News, "Lawrence man re-sentenced for sex crimes against daughter" Ann Wilson, Aug. 21, 2014

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