Raymond Stoden, 67, knew the ages of the two young girls, 13 and 14, who he solicited nude photographs from, but a Kansas judge is now saying that the young women were “more aggressor than a participant.”
Leavenworth Country District Judge Michael Gibbens, according to court transcripts from the December trial, said, “I think that a 13-year-old who offered what she offered for money is certainly an aggressor, particularly since she’s the one that had to travel to Mr. Soden.”
Then, to add insult to injury, the Judge sentenced Soden to five years, ten months in prison, which is eight years less than what is called for in Kansas’ sentencing guidelines. Choosing not to follow the guidelines requires “substantial and compelling reasons” and among the judge’s reasons were that the teens went to Soden’s house voluntarily and took money for sexual behaviors. He also questioned whether the girls actually suffered harm from the incident, pointing to their absence at Soden’s sentencing as proof. The judge said that he believed the girls were actually setting up the 67-year-old to be robbed.
Soden, who had prior convictions for battery and sexual battery, was found guilty of electronic solicitation, a felony, in August.
Because thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds cannot consent to sexual relations under Kansas law, and because the girls, no matter their behavior, are minors, prosecutors are considering appealing the sentencing.