Convicted Lyon County child sex abuse suspect seeking to withdraw plea Featured

Jason Wayne Harden Jason Wayne Harden Kansas Department of Corrections photos

A motions hearing is slated for Tuesday afternoon in the case of a man who originally pleaded to child sex crimes two years ago but now wants to change his plea.

Jason Wayne Harden had reached a plea agreement with Lyon County prosecutors on one count of aggravated indecent liberties and another count of aggravated indecent solicitation. Harden had entered an Alford plea -- essentially a guilty plea by a defendant who claims to be innocent -- following his trial, which ended in a hung jury.

The Kansas Court of Appeals sent the case back to district court because Harden had requested a departure from the Jessica's Law 25-year minimum, saying his limited and unrelated criminal history should have had him as a candidate for sentencing under the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act instead. District court denied the motion at the time, but the Court of Appeals said the case against Harden was an off-grid crime, so lack of a significant criminal history is a mitigating factor for considering whether to use the KSGA instead of Jessica's Law.

Harden's motions to withdraw hearing is at 3 pm Tuesday in Lyon County District Court.

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