Kansas Senate OKs bill saying child not 'aggressor' in abuse cases

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Judge Michael Gibbens and Raymond Soden Judge Michael Gibbens and Raymond Soden
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill that would prevent judges from lowering sentences for child sex offenders if they think the victims were willing participants in the crime.

The bill approved Wednesday comes after a Leavenworth County judge in February reduced the sentence for 67-year-old Raymond Soden because he thought the 13- and 14-year-old girls involved in the case were "aggressors."

Kansas judge calls girls the 'aggressor' in sex abuse case

The Kansas City Star reports current state law allows judges discretion in sentencing for "substantial or compelling" reasons.

The new bill prohibits judges from reducing sentences if a victim is a participant or aggressor in a sexually violent crime or electronic solicitation when the victim is under 14 and the offender is 18 or older.

The House approved the bill earlier and it now goes to Gov. Laura Kelly.