Scranton teen enters plea in indecent liberties case after being charged as juvenile

A Scranton teenager entered a plea to a reduced charge Thursday, after being charged as an adult in April with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and one count of aggravated criminal sodomy. Caleb Flowers, 18, Scranton, had faced the possibility of more than 25 years in prison if he had been convicted of the original charges.

In a hearing June 27 in Osage County District Court, Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones informed the court the original charges had been dismissed as part of a plea agreement, and Flowers had instead been charged as a juvenile with one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

The new complaint alleged Flowers lewdly fondled or touched a juvenile in Scranton in June or July of 2010.

Presenting the factual basis of the charge, Jones said Flowers and the juvenile engaged in sexual activity with each other while the juvenile was over 14 years old but less than 16 years old. Flowers was 15 at the time of the alleged incident.

“This was definitely with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the victim, the defendant or both,” Jones said, citing a stipulation of the charge.

Represented in court by attorney William Bayne, Flowers entered a plea of no contest to the juvenile charge.

Accepting Flowers’ plea, Osage County Magistrate Judge Taylor Wine adjudicated Flowers as a juvenile offender for the single charge, noting that if the crime had been committed by an adult it would be severity level 4 person felony.

Flowers had been held in the Osage County Jail on $125,000 bond since his April appearance in court. Thursday, the attorneys and the judge considered whether the bond should be reduced, since it is now a new case.

Bayne said his client would not request a bond reduction.

“He’s not going to ask that he be released,” Bayne said.

Saying it was in the best interest of the community for Flowers to remain in custody, Wine again set the bond at $125,000.

Bayne said after the hearing that with his client’s plea, Flowers expected he would receive jail time as part of his sentence, and time spent in the county jail should count as time served when he is sentenced.

Jones said later that since Flowers had been adjudicated as a juvenile offender, he could be held in custody until he was 22 1/2 years old. The Kansas Juvenile Justice Code indicates that Flowers’ adjudication would place him as a “serious offender” and he could be committed to a juvenile correctional facility for a minimum of 18 months and up to 36 months.

Flowers was originally charged under Jessica’s Law, which imposed penalties up to 25 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000 for conviction of the crimes.

Wine explained to Flowers that before sentencing could occur a predisposition investigation must be conducted by court services personnel, who would develop a sentencing recommendation. The judge set 10 a.m. Aug. 8 for a disposition hearing in the case.

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