Platte City man sentenced to 35 years for sexually abusing girl over several years

A Platte City man who sexually abused a girl for several years starting when she was eight-years-old has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Joshua M. Lay, 38, pleaded guilty to first-degree statutory sodomy.

“The defendant cut short this girl’s childhood, something she’ll never be able to regain,” Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said. “Judge (Thomas) Fincham’s sentence rightly vindicated her tragic loss of innocence at the hands of this man’s sexual deviance.”

In April 2017, the girl told staff at Children’s Mercy Hospital that Lay had sexually abused her.

The abuse began when she was eight and continued until she reported the crimes at age 15.

In one incident Lay slapped the girl across the face when she attempted to pull away during a sex act, Zahnd said. Lay also told the girl not to “snitch” on him.

During the sentencing hearing, the girl’s grandmother spoke about the ongoing impact of Lay’s abuse and requested a lengthy sentence.

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Katie Moore covers crime and justice issues for The Star. She is a University of Kansas graduate and was previously a reporter in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas.