Lawrence man accused of kidnapping, sex assault convicted of lesser crime

A Lawrence man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman he knew has been convicted of a lesser charge in the case.

On Wednesday in Douglas County District Court, Jeremy L. Farnsworth, 40, pleaded no contest to one count of aggravated battery, a felony.

Judge Sally Pokorny accepted Farnsworth’s plea, convicted him of the charge and scheduled his sentencing for Jan. 19.

Under the plea agreement, prosecutors and Farnsworth’s appointed attorney, Forrest Lowry, are requesting a 41-month prison sentence, they said at Wednesday’s hearing.

The case stems from a July 23 incident in the 100 block of North Michigan Street, and involved a 35-year-old female victim.

Prior to the plea agreement, Farnsworth had been charged with one count of kidnapping for allegedly taking or confining the woman against her will; one count of aggravated criminal sodomy; and one count of criminal threat, according to charges filed in court. All three crimes are felonies.

At a preliminary hearing in August, the victim testified that she had agreed to meet Farnsworth at a park that day to return some items she’d taken out of his truck.

When she got there, Farnsworth pointed a gun at her and forced her into the truck, she said. He drove her to her home to pick up items, then to a friend’s home where he took her to a basement storm shelter and told her to perform a sex act, she said.

At multiple points throughout the incident, she said, Farnsworth was holding a gun — once pointing it to her head — or a hammer.

Farnsworth was jailed on $90,000 bond, and remains in custody.