A Lawrence man and former foster father who was found guilty of lewd fondling and sexual intercourse with his biological daughters was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
A Douglas County jury found the 47-year-old man guilty last month on four counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, and one count of indecent liberties with a child. The incidents began when one of the daughters was 14 and the other was 10.
We are not naming the man to protect the victim-survivors.
Retired Judge Gunnar Sundby sentenced the man to a “hard 25” for one of the counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, and a total of 132 months – or 11 years – for the additional crimes, which will be served concurrently in the Kansas Department of Corrections.
The younger of the two daughters, now 19, said she was satisfied with the sentence. She said she and her sister have been working to move forward.
“It’s been a stressful couple of months,” she said. “My healing process has been extensive.”
Both daughters testified against their father during the trial. In a press release, District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said the victim-survivors showed bravery by telling their stories.
“The defendant preyed upon his own children,” Valdez said. “I commend the survivors for exercising tremendous courage to bring this perpetrator to justice and making our community safer.”
In addition to the two daughters, the convicted man was also stepfather to two estranged adult sons and three adopted children ages 5, 6 and 7. According to court testimony, between 2010 and 2021 the man and his wife provided foster care for approximately 90 children.
There are currently no allegations of abuse associated with the other children, who were removed from the home once charges were brought against the father.
The younger daughter said the life sentence would provide everyone with peace of mind.
“The thing I want most is for the kids to be safe,” she said.
The mother of the children was a licensed professional counselor from January 2019 until early 2021. She has been charged with child endangerment and intimidation of a witness in connection with the abuse. A preliminary hearing in that case is scheduled for July 21.