WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A convicted murderer who was accused of raping an 8-year-old Wichita girl he'd been babysitting has been sentenced to just over 21 years in prison. 

Clifford Cox, 60, pleaded guilty in March to aggravated kidnapping and three counts of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child. He was sentenced Wednesday to 253 months. 

Cox was arrested in August of 2018 and originally charged with 13 counts that included rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and criminal sodomy. 

Police said a parent reported his 8-year-old daughter being possibly assaulted by Cox on multiple occasions. The incidents occurred while Cox was caring for his children and the girl's siblings.


The girl's father sent the following statement to KAKE News in 2018.

"We didn't even know his name, all my ex wife and I knew his name was Ziggy. My first reaction was like if it was a bad dream. I felt anger, disgust. I was racing in my head on only the 3-4 times I met him thinking were there signs? And when I thought about it more, the more I got lost in dispear [sic] in my own head. There are a million things even now I felt, including hopelessness because I couldn't stop it. And my ex wife is in that same boat."

Cox was released from prison in 2006 after serving time for first-degree murder. He was convicted in the May 1984 murder of 22-year-old Cathryn Lynne Hutchins Kessinger, a crime that shocked the Winfield community. 

The victim's husband, William Kessinger, and Cox both pleaded guilty. 

According to testimony at the time, Kessinger offered Cox $1,000 to kill his wife. When Cox said he couldn't do it alone, Kessinger held his wife's hands behind her back while Cox put a rope around her neck and pulled.

Both men received life sentences.