SALINA, Kansas – A 73-year-old Salina man is sentenced to three life prison terms with no parole for 25 years on each case, after pleading no contest to molesting children.
Gerald A. Jones was sentenced Monday. He pleaded no contest in December to three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The crimes involving two girls and a boy occurred between July and September 2014. The victims’ ages were a factor in the sentence.
“Three children ages, three, four and seven,” says First Assistant Saline County Attorney Christine Trocheck. “And because of their age and the allegation of sex offenses, it made it a Jessica’s Law case.”
Related Link: Jessica’s Law
Trocheck says invoking Jessica’s law made a big difference in this case, versus Kansas sentencing guidelines that could have given the offender much less time in prison.
“Under Kansas law, this would have been a level three offense on the (sentencing) grid,” explains Trocheck.
The sentencing grid for a level three offense recommends a sentence between 55 months in prison to 247 months in prison.
But Trocheck went after Jessica’s Law, a law that gives offenders life in prison, with no parole for 25 years.
“I use it fairly often,” says Trocheck. “I look at safety considerations I look at age of the offender, I look at the sexual acts that were perpetrated upon the victims. Obviously, I look at the age of the victims.”
Related Link: Kansas Law on Sex Crimes
While it is ultimately up to the judge to issue the sentence, those judges rely heavily upon input from prosecutors.
“I thought it was an appropriate sentence considering the tender age of the victims. and the nature of the offenses,” explains Trocheck. “As well as some of the background information of the offender.”
“He said during his interviews he references some longstanding sexual interest towards children and I thought that he was a danger to the community at any age,” said Trochek. “And I did not want to take the chance that he might be released back into society and sexually offend against another child.”