Leavenworth Co. judge gives light punishment to man convicted of child sexual exploitation, prosecutor says

LEAVENWORTH, Kan -- It was a move that surprised a lot of people, including the Leavenworth County attorney, when a judge sentenced a man guilty of child pornography to just 32 months in prison

"I mean the acts of the children are just disgusting,” said Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson. “I mean it is a horrible crime to see these children have gone through this."

Thompson could not go into the details of the child pornography found on 57-year-old William Moxley's computer. So disturbing, it's not appropriate for publication.

Moxley pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one of whom was just 6 years old. That crime carries a presumptive sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, which is what Thompson asked for. Judge Gunnar Sundby decided to give Moxley two-and-a-half years instead.

Thompson said he has appealed that decision: "To depart you have to have something compelling and substantial."

In court, Judge Sundby stated the sentence break was because Moxley had no priors and he only watched the child porn, he did not produce it, even though Kansas law does not distinguish between making, distributing or possessing child pornography.

Judge Sundby declined FOX 4's request for an interview, but Leavenworth Court Administrator Steve Crossland sent the following statement:

"During the sentencing hearing in State v. Moxley, Judge Sundby stated the facts and law applicable to his decision. Under Kansas law, such decision is subject to review for error by the appellate courts of Kansas. The case is currently under appeal. While the matter is on appeal, it would be improper for Judge Sundby to further comment on the matter."

"I think that sends a very dangerous message to all of us about our safety and especially to individuals who have experienced some sort of sexual violence that our culture is just going to tolerate that," said Rene McCreary, Director of Counseling Services at MOCSA.

She is an expert in treating victims of sex abuse and says there are no proven treatment protocols for victims of child porn.

"The good news is there is a lot of hope for kids who experience sexual abuse, however, youth that have been used in the production of child pornography really struggle significantly in recovery," said McCreary.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sex abuse and want help, click on this link.