Probation granted for former KU student accused of sex act with teen he met on Snapchat

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Connor Z. Claxton

A judge granted probation to a man who convinced a girl he met on Snapchat to drive hours to Lawrence, where the 15-year-old victim said she gave him oral sex and he gave her gas money and a hit from a bong.

Connor Z. Claxton, 24, of Lawrence, was sentenced Friday before Douglas County District Court Judge Peggy Kittel.

The judge sentenced him to two years on probation, with an underlying sentence of 17 months in prison that could be imposed should he fail on probation, according to Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to District Attorney Charles Branson. She said Claxton also must register as a sex offender for 25 years.

Claxton was convicted of indecent solicitation of a child, a felony, after pleading no contest in September, Wright Kunard said.

The crime occurred in September 2017 at Claxton’s apartment on Kentucky Street near the University of Kansas campus.

At Claxton’s preliminary hearing in May, the victim testified that he added her on Snapchat, promised her marijuana and money, and she agreed to drive from her home in El Dorado to meet him in Lawrence. She said his social media messages to her had been sexual, even after she told him her age.

At his apartment, she smoked marijuana from a bong and gave him oral sex. After sleeping a while, the girl left.

She got pulled over driving the wrong way on a one-way street near South Park and disclosed to police what she’d been doing in Lawrence, prompting the ensuing law enforcement investigation.

According to the affidavit police prepared in support of Claxton’s arrest, which the Journal-World requested from the court, Claxton told police that he’d used the same “anonymous” Snapchat account to sell marijuana and have sexual conversations with other high school girls, though he had not met up with others.

Prior to his plea deal, Claxton had been charged with one count of criminal sodomy against the girl, plus distributing marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia and using a communication facility to commit drug crimes.

Shortly after his arrest in April of this year, Claxton said on his application for an appointed attorney that he’d been working at the KU student rec center, and the KU directory listed him as a student. He is no longer in the student directory.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd