A Douglas County district judge sentenced Joshua M. Walker to three life sentences in prison on Friday after a jury convicted him in June of raping and molesting a 5-year-old girl in 2010 and 2011.
Walker, 27, had lived in Eudora but resided in Spring Hill at the time of his July 2011 arrest. He was convicted of one count of rape and two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy.
District Judge Michael Malone ordered that the life sentences be served concurrently, meaning Walker could be eligible for parole after serving 25 years of his sentence.
Malone denied post-trial motions from defense attorney Hatem Chahine, including one in which he asked for a downward departure for Walker’s sentence, which required sentences of 25 years to life on each count under a state law known as Jessica’s Law that imposed harsher sentences for sex offenders who prey on children.
Walker expressed remorse and cried when addressing the judge before his sentencing, though he maintained his innocence of the crimes. Chief District Attorney Amy McGowan argued that Walker be sentenced to life in prison given the serious nature of his crimes against the victim.
Chahine asked that Walker be sentenced to 155 months imprisonment. Malone denied that request, saying Walker had failed to demonstrate substantial and compelling reasons that called for a downward departure for his sentence.
“In fact, (the reasons) fall far short of that level as far as the court is concerned,” Malone said.
He gave Walker credit for the 385 days he has already served in jail, meaning he would first be eligible for parole in just under 24 years.
If he is eventually paroled, Walker would be subject to parole for the rest of his life and would have to register as a sex offender.