Manhattan man charged with sexual exploitation of a child in Douglas County

photo by: Mugshot courtesy of the Johnson County Sheriff's Office

Preston M. Jones is pictured with the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.

A Manhattan man accused of sexually exploiting a teenager in Douglas County in January 2022 was charged Friday in Douglas County District Court.

Preston Meier Jones, 21, was charged with one felony count of sexual exploitation of a child by promoting a sexual performance, according to charging documents. The documents said that the charges were related to an incident that took place on Jan. 3, 2022, and that the alleged victim in the case was 16 years old at the time.

The charge is a level-3 felony, and a conviction would come with a presumptive prison sentence between 55 and 247 months, according to Kansas sentencing guidelines.

According to the Douglas County Jail booking log, Jones was arrested at around 11:25 p.m. on Thursday. The log listed the arrest location as Interstate 70, near the Iowa Street interchange.

At Jones’ first appearance in Douglas County District Court on Friday, Judge James McCabria appointed attorney Dakota Loomis to represent Jones. Jones said he has a pending DUI case in Douglas County and that Loomis also represents him in that case.

The state requested that McCabria uphold the $15,000 cash or surety bond that was previously set for Jones, but Jones asked for an own-recognizance bond, which means he would not have to put up any money to be released from jail but may face a penalty if he fails to appear in court as scheduled. He said he was employed and had a pet at home that he had to care for, and that he had not seen the alleged victim in more than a year and did not live anywhere near them.

Because of those factors and the fact that Jones didn’t have a significant criminal history, McCabria granted Jones’ request, giving him a $15,000 own-recognizance bond with a GPS monitoring requirement.

Jones is next scheduled to appear in court on March 22 for a status update on both the DUI case and the child sexual exploitation case.