A three-judge panel of the Kansas Court of Appeals heard arguments in Lawrence on Tuesday morning in the case of a 51-year-old man convicted of trying to entice a Lawrence junior high school student into his car and exposing himself to three other girls in December 2007.
Stephen R. Stout is seeking to overturn his conviction for aggravated indecent solicitation of a child. A Douglas County jury in 2008 convicted Stout after prosecutors said he tried to lure a girl who was 13 at the time into his car on Dec. 20, 2007. His appellate attorney Christina Waugh argued in court Tuesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass., that he only asked the girl for the time, which she said did not constitute a crime.
Stout had pleaded guilty to three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior for exposing himself about 20 minutes after the incident to three other girls at the school. Two Lawrence police detectives later stopped Stout near Iowa Street and Harvard Road after a short vehicle chase, and officers found a loaded gun under the seat.
During the 30-minute hearing, judges asked whether the items in the car and Stout’s lewd and lascivious actions 20 minutes later made him guilty of trying to solicit the first girl.
“I could entice a child in my car and have a gun under my seat? And it would be totally irrelevant unless I use it?” Judge David Bruns asked during the hearing.
District Judge Michael Malone sentenced Stout to serve 41 months in prison, and according to the Kansas Department of Corrections, he is currently on parole in Arkansas. He’s trying to get the case overturned because he’s subject to lifetime sex offender registration. The judges took the case under advisement.