A 42-year-old Lawrence man convicted of having sex with his children’s 13-year-old baby-sitter in 2004 is asking Gov. Mark Parkinson to shorten his sentence.
The Kansas Parole Board is taking public comments about William R. Rivera as part of a review of his clemency application.
But Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson has filed an objection to Rivera’s request, saying appellate courts have already upheld his convictions.
“He was rightfully convicted by a jury of these crimes, and there’s no reason for clemency to be applied in this case,” Branson said.
A jury in October 2004 found Rivera guilty of having sex with the girl three times in a relationship that lasted about a month beginning in May 2004. In addition to the three statutory rape convictions, jurors found him guilty of aggravated criminal sodomy and two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
Sex with a child under 14 is classified as rape under Kansas law.
Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin in January 2005 sentenced Rivera to serve 21 years in prison.
According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Rivera is an inmate at the Lansing Correctional Facility. His earlier possible release date — when factoring in possible credit for good behavior — is October 2022.
During his 2004 sentencing hearing, a family friend testified Rivera was a good father and grandfather who cared for and supported his family, according to news reports.
Anyone wishing to comment in the next two weeks on Rivera’s clemency request can mail it to the correctional facility’s clemency administrator, P.O. Box 2, Lansing, KS 66043.
The parole board also has an online comment section on its website, www.doc.ks.gov/kpb/clemency.