By Joni J. Franklin, Attorney & David Wolf, Attorney Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Douglas County Judge, Sally Pokorny ordered Richard Gonzalex, 69, to serve 25 years to life in prison for allegedly molesting a four-year-old girl. According to prosecutors, the girl alleged the acts occurred several times over a six week period in 2009.
The Chief Assistant District Attorney, Amy McGowan, read a letter from the girls’ parents in court asking the judge to give Gonzalez two consecutive life sentences; the parents feared that the crimes would affect her as she grew older. The parents said in the letter, “that is something that will be with her for a life time”.
The defense asked Judge Pokorny to sentence Gonzalex to serve 75 months in prison because of his age and lack of prior criminal history. The Kansas criminal defense attorney argued a life sentence was unconstitutional, but Judge Pokorny based her ruling on Jessica’s Law. The Kansas Legislature passed Jessica’s Law, which attaches potential life sentences to child sex crimes because child victims are the most vulnerable people and often do not have the vocabulary to speak out about the abuse. Pokorny looked at the physical injuries as well as the ongoing psychological injury. She said, “It is a harsh punishment for a terrible crime.”
Gonzalez was living at the time on the property home to Miles of Smiles Child Daycare Center. It was operated by his daughter, located southwest of Lawrence. The day care center closed in July 2010, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment records. Gonzalez is expected to appeal the verdict and sentence. For more information on this topic, see Lawrence man, 69, ordered to 25 years to life for molesting 4-year-old at day care center.