Lawrence man sentenced to over 10 years for possessing child pornography

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

Michael William Wicks is pictured with the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.

A Lawrence man was sentenced to more than 10 years on Friday in connection with multiple counts of possession of child pornography.

The man, Michael William Wicks, 54, pleaded guilty in February to three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a child under the age of 18 as part of a plea agreement with the state; under the agreement he avoided a potential life sentence.

As the Journal-World reported, Wicks’ original charges indicated that the images found by police contained that of a child under the age of 14, and the sexual exploitation charge was filed as an off-grid felony, which could have meant life in prison. The charges relate to an incident on May 14, 2022.

On Friday, Judge Sally Pokorny sentenced Wicks to 55 months for the first charge of sexual exploitation and 34 months for the subsequent charges for a total of 123 months, 10.25 years, all to run consecutively, according to a release from the District Attorney’s Office. She also ordered Wicks to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Wicks’ charges in the plea agreement were all the same kind of charge, but Kansas law requires the most severe conviction to be sentenced in accordance with the defendant’s criminal history score on the Kansas sentencing guidelines while the remaining convictions are sentenced as if the defendant had no criminal history.

Wicks had a criminal history score of “D,” or one person-felony, so he received the aggravated term of 55 months for the first count and 34 months on each of the other counts.

Wicks was previously convicted in 2020 in Jefferson County for felony sexual exploitation of a child; in that case he was granted probation in lieu of a 32-month prison sentence.

photo by: Kansas Sentencing Commission

The 2023 Non-drug Kansas sentencing guidelines. The green boxes denote sentences that are presumptive probation with an underlying prison sentence while the blue boxes denote a “border box” where the judge has the discretion to chooses prison or probation as a sentence. All other boxes are presumptive prison.


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