Man sentenced to 32 months in prison for texting sexual images with a minor

A 52-year-old Lawrence man was sentenced Tuesday to 32 months in prison for one count of sexual exploitation of a child.

Jerry Dale Kerr pleaded no contest to the charge in August, which stemmed from sexually natured text messages Kerr exchanged with a 13-year-old girl in 2011. The messages also included sexually explicit photographs.

Kerr’s court-appointed defense attorney, J.C. Gilroy, filed a motion on Kerr’s behalf asking Douglas County District Court Judge Peggy Kittel to grant Kerr probation.

Kittel denied that request and sentenced Kerr to 32 months. In her decision, Kittel cited the months-long texting relationship that included thousands of texts.

“This was not a one-time lapse in judgement,” Kittel said.

An emotional Kerr apologized at the hearing, saying he needed continued therapy.

“I made a serious mistake,” said Kerr, who had no previous felony convictions. “It was a one-time situation that got seriously out of control.”

According to prosecutors and the defense, Kerr met the girl through his own son, who was friends with the girl.

Kerr had originally faced an additional exploitation charge, as well as a more serious solicitation charge.

In addition to the sentence, Kerr will be required to register as a sex offender for 25 years. He received 258 days credit for time served in jail.