Crime

67-year-old Leavenworth man sentenced to prison for soliciting teen girl on Facebook

Federal program targets online child predators

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was developed federally in 1998 as the number of children and teenagers using the internet increased and child sexual abuse images became available electronically, authorities say.
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The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was developed federally in 1998 as the number of children and teenagers using the internet increased and child sexual abuse images became available electronically, authorities say.

A 67-year-old Leavenworth man who was convicted of soliciting a 13-year-old girl on Facebook was sentenced to more than five years in prison Tuesday, the county attorney said in a news release.

Raymond Soden was charged earlier this year with electronic solicitation after Soden was accused of exchanging messages with the teen girl about him offering to pay for nude photos of her and her friends as well as sex acts.

Soden told police he knew the girl was 13, and that what he was doing was wrong, the news release said.

In August, Soden pleaded no contest to the solicitation charge, and a judge found him guilty.

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According to Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson, Soden had two prior convictions: one for battery and one for sexual battery.

Based on his criminal history, prosecutors argued for a sentence of 13-plus years in prison while his attorney asked for probation.

On Tuesday, Thompson said Judge Michael Gibbens granted a downward durational departure and ordered Soden to serve more than five years in prison.

“We must always fight to protect our children. The justice system is our last stand in protecting and keeping them safe,” Thompson said in a statement. “Parents must always work on communicating, paying attention to what their children are doing on their phone and with social media, and who they spend time with on a daily basis. We strive to never have children become part of the justice system. When that does happen, we will work to make sure those who hurt our children face justice.”

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