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The Kansas Supreme Court upheld a life prison sentence on Friday for a Reno County man who was convicted of sodomizing a 6-year-old autistic boy he was babysitting.
A news release from the Reno County District Attorney's office says Aaron Salinas, 21, sodomized the boy on Sept. 20, 2008. The victim told his mother, who assaulted Salinas. Salinas' mother came to his aid and, when notified of what he had done, assaulted him, too.
After his image appeared on the America's Most Wanted television show, Salinas was captured in Oklahoma City in March of 2010. Salinas later pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sodomy, which, under Jessica's Law, is punishable by a life prison sentence without possibility of parole for 25 years.
Salinas' attorney had asked the judge to depart from sentencing guidelines because his client had just turned 18 before the crime took place, because he lacked a criminal history, he had admitted to the crime and because a non-prison or shorter sanction would serve community safety interests by promoting offender reformation. The judge denied the request and gave Salinas the maximum.
Expert testimony during the appeal hearing included the opinion that Salinas was likely to reoffend. Supreme Court justices found that the sentence was appropriate.