Proposed Kansas bill: Child not ‘aggressor’ in sexual abuse


In this Dec. 19, 2008 photo, Michael Gibbens, center, stands next to his wife, Nancy, as he is sworn in as a Leavenworth County District Court judge by District Court Chief Judge David King, left, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Tonganoxie, Kan. The Kansas judge who blamed two young girls as the […]

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt wants to change state law to prevent judges from easing sentences for adult sex offenders because a child victim is purportedly an “aggressor” in the crime.

The legislation proposed Monday was sparked by the decision of Leavenworth County Judge Michael Gibbens to give a 67-year-old man a more lenient sentence after saying the sex abuse victims, ages 13 and 14, were “more an aggressor than a participant.”

State law now allows judges to reduce sentences below the guidelines by finding the victim contributed to the criminal conduct.

The proposed bill would prohibit that reasoning when the victim is younger than 14 years and the sex offender is an adult. It also would make it unavailable whenever human trafficking victims are involved regardless of their age.

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