A Douglas County judge Monday afternoon sentenced a 28-year-old Lawrence man to serve nearly 20 years in prison for sending sexually explicit text messages and photographs to a 12-year-old Baldwin City girl.
District Judge Sally Pokorny followed terms of a plea agreement and ordered Willie Jay Burtrum to serve a 233-month prison sentence and to register as a sex offender. He will get credit for the five months he’s already served in jail, and probation officials said prison officials could give him credit for 15 percent of his sentence for good behavior.
Burtrum pleaded guilty in July to attempted electronic solicitation of a child. Douglas County prosecutors accused him of sending the message to the girl he was acquainted with in March. Amy McGowan, a chief assistant district attorney, said the girl’s father was in court and agreed with the plea negotiations.
“I just want to apologize to everybody who was involved,” Burtrum said. “I tried to make this as easy on everybody involved and get it over as quickly as possible.”
Pokorny said Burtrum agreed to plead guilty without requiring the girl to testify at a preliminary hearing or a trial.
“I’m taking that as a positive first step on your part,” Pokorny said.
Defense attorney Greg Robinson said Burtrum had cooperated with authorities and shown remorse in the case. He also said he hoped Burtrum could get treatment in prison and the victim could get any help she needs.
“If he could go back and change it he would,” Robinson said. “He can’t.”