A Pawnee County District Judge on Friday sentenced a Larned man to 5 1/2 years in prison for aggravated indecent liberties with a child. District Judge Bruce Gatterman sentenced 45-year-old Dale Horton to prison on the charges that could have brought more jail time had the judge not deviated from state sentencing guidelines.
The sentence for Horton is 20 years less than mandated by Jessica’s Law, which requires 25 years to life in prison for sex crimes involving a child younger than 14, without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
In a press release, Gatterman cited the lifetime registration requirements under the law, the fact that Horton’s plea eliminated the need for the victims to testify and the lack of prior criminal history as the reasons for departing from state sentencing guidelines.
According to the criminal complaint, the incidents with the victims took place between September 2010 and January 2001.