Judge: Teen Girls Were the 'Aggressor' in Sex Abuse Case

Kansas judge says girls, 13 and 14, voluntarily took money for sex
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 4, 2019 4:20 PM CST
Judge: Teen Girls Were the 'Aggressor' in Sex Abuse Case
Raymond Soden.   (Mug shot)

Prosecutors are researching an appeal after a Kansas judge called two teenage girls the "aggressor" in a sexual encounter with a 67-year-old man and eased his prison sentence, the AP reports. The Kansas City Star reports Leavenworth County District Judge Michael Gibbens sentenced Raymond Soden in December to five years, 10 months in prison. Prosecutors sought more than 13 years behind bars because Soden had prior convictions. But Gibbens said at the sentencing that the girls, ages 13 and 14, had voluntarily gone to Soden's house and taken money for sexual favors.

"I do find that the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct," Gibbens said, per the Star. "They were certainly selling things monetarily that it’s against the law for even an adult to sell." Harleigh Harrold with the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault tells the newspaper children don't have the ability to understand the consequences of such an act. Michelle Herman, president and CEO of the child advocacy center Sunflower House, says "sexual assault is never the victim's fault." (This judge called a rapist bishop an "extraordinarily good man.")

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