Prison time dropped from minimum 25 years to maximum 8.5 after resentencing in child sex abuse case Featured

Jason Harden. Jason Harden. Kansas Department of Corrections photos

One man who accepted a special plea agreement in a Lyon County child sex abuse case from earlier this decade learned his sentence Friday.

Jason Wayne Harden, 37, was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison after pleading to single counts of aggravated indecent liberties and indecent solicitation.

Harden accepted what’s called an Alford plea, where a defendant pleads guilty while claiming to be innocent -- and this was his second plea in the case after the first was vacated by the Kansas Court of Appeals last year. Harden was first charged with rape and aggravated criminal sodomy in 2016 and reached the original plea agreement after trial ended in a hung jury. Harden was then sentenced to 25 years to life in prison under the state’s Jessica’s Law provisions, but Harden said he should have been sentenced under the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act instead because of his unrelated criminal history. Harden then appealed when District Court denied his motion.

The second plea agreement came about after a Harden motion to withdraw the first plea was allowed. At that time, the initial charges were reinstated before the second agreement was finalized.

9:30 am Friday: Resentencing set for Friday afternoon in child sex abuse case

Resentencing is coming Friday afternoon for a man convicted earlier this decade of child sex abuse in a Lyon County case.


Jason Wayne Harden, 37, will appear in District Court for a hearing at 2:30 pm.

Harden's appearance follows a lengthy court process after he was first accused September 2016 of rape and aggravated criminal sodomy against a then 13-year-old. After the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, he reached a so-called Alford plea agreement -- essentially a guilty plea by a defendant who claims to be innocent -- on charges of aggravated indecent liberties and aggravated indecent solicitation.

Harden had requested a departure from the Jessica's Law 25-year minimum, saying his limited and unrelated criminal history should have made him a candidate for sentencing under the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act instead, and then appealed when District Court disagreed. The Kansas Court of Appeals sided with Harden and vacated the sentence in a ruling last year.

Since that ruling, District Court has allowed Harden to withdraw his original plea, thus reinstating the original complaint before Harden again reached an Alford plea for single counts of aggravated indecent liberties and indecent solicitation.

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Last modified on Friday, 13 September 2019 16:18
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