Judge calls teenage girls the ‘aggressor’ in sex abuse case

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Raymond Soden

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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — A judge called two teenage girls the “aggressor” in a sex abuse case and reduced the sentence for the man convicted of the crimes.

The Kansas City Star reported that Leavenworth County District Judge Michael Gibbens sentenced Raymond Soden, 67, to five years and 10 months in prison.

That sentence is eight years less that what Kansas state sentencing guidelines called for.

The judge said the girls, who were both younger than 15 at the time, were partly to blame because they voluntarily went over to the Soden’s home. Also, neither one appeared in court when he was sentenced.

The judge also questioned if the girls were harmed and said that they had taken money for sexual favors.

“And so she’s uncomfortable for something she voluntarily went to, voluntarily took her top off of, and was paid for?” Gibbens asked.

Soden was charged last year with electronic solicitation after exchanging Facebook messages with a 13-year-old girl, offering money for sex acts with her and a 14-year-old girl, according to the Star.

Michelle Herman, president and CEO of Sunflower House, criticized the judge’s opinion that the victims may have been the aggressors.

“These girls are minors, and are the victims, not the aggressors,” she said. “Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. It doesn’t matter what the girls did or didn’t do, he is still the adult and nobody deserves to be taken advantage of sexually.”

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