LEAVENWORTH, Kansas – A Kansas judge gave a 67-year-old man convicted of soliciting a minor a reduced prison sentence and said the two female victims – a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old – were the “aggressor.”
Raymond Soden used Facebook to contact the girls, offering money for nude photos and sexual favors, according to The Kansas City Star.
Leavenworth County District Judge Michael Gibbens said at Soden’s sentencing on Tuesday that the girls were at fault for going to Soden’s house on their own. He also noted that they did not show up at the sentencing to give an impact statement.
“I do find that the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct,” the paper reports Judge Gibbens saying. “They were certainly selling things monetarily that it’s against the law for even an adult to sell.”
The judge also said he was “pretty familiar” with the girls and wouldn’t rule out the defense attorney’s claim that they were trying to set Soden up to rob him. The defense attorney also alleged that the girls’ older sister had arranged the meeting.
Citing his advanced age, poor health and limited mental capacity, Judge Gibbens sentenced Soden to five years and 10 months in prison, roughly eight years less than the state guidelines.
The judge called the case “bizarre” and “unfathomable,” according to the Star.
The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sex Assault issued the following statement about the judge’s hearing:
“Children are NEVER at fault for abuse and CANNOT consent (developmentally or legally) with an adult.”
Prosecutors are now exploring the option of an appeal after they argued Soden should get at least 13 years in prison, according to the Star.