A Lecompton man was convicted Wednesday, following a plea deal, of two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child for sexually abusing two girls.
The man, Garry J. Wells, 54, entered a Douglas County courtroom in shackles for what was scheduled to be a preliminary hearing to determine whether he would stand trial. He had originally been charged with four counts of rape and one count of attempted rape, according to a complaint filed by the district attorney's office.
But after meeting with his attorney, Clinton Lee, in a separate room for about 30 minutes, he waived his right to a preliminary hearing and entered no contest pleas to the two felony counts. A no contest plea means the defendant accepts a charge against him without admitting guilt.
In an agreement with prosecutors, each count would presumably carry a sentence of 61 months, which would be served consecutively.
During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Alice Walker described the evidence that would have been used against him at trial.
She said that in April of this year, Douglas County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a home in Lecompton in response to a report of multiple child rapes.
The first two of those, Walker said, occurred on unspecified dates in 2015, when a girl who was 12 years old at the time was staying several nights with Wells' family.
The other two incidents, Walker said, occurred in January 2016, when another girl, 13, spent a three-day weekend at Wells' house for a birthday party.
Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin accepted the pleas and ordered a presentence investigation to determine Wells' criminal history.
The 61-month sentences are at the high end of the sentencing range for the crime of aggravated indecent liberties with a child if the defendant has no prior felony conviction and no more than one misdemeanor conviction.
Martin said the maximum sentence could go as high as 20 years and seven months for the highest level of criminal history, which is three or more prior felony convictions.
After the hearing, Wells stood and watched as the victims and their family members left the courtroom. Then, he was escorted out by security officers while his own family said their goodbyes, one being heard to say, "I love you, Dad."