A 55-year-old Marion man convicted of raping a 9-year-old was sentenced Thursday to less than nine years in prison after successfully pleading that he didn’t deserve the normally required sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole for 25 years.
According to a state offender registry, the defendant Gary Dwain Williams, 55, lived at 202 Garfield St. in Jex Addition in 2011 at the time of the offense.
Williams, who pleaded no-contest March 3, was sentenced by Chief judge Michael Powers to serve 97.5 months in prison, lifetime registration as a sex offender, and lifetime post-release supervision.
Kansas statutes call for a sentence of life with a “Hard 25” for a first offense of rape of a child younger than 14 but allow for special provisions in first offenses. The same penalty is listed for aggravated indecent liberties with a child, with which Williams originally also had been charged with.
Court documents indicated that Williams’ attorney presented evidence that Williams was mentally retarded and displayed a low risk to re-offend.
Both Powers and prosecuting attorney, Adam Zentner, of the Attorney General’s Office, agreed to Wichita defense attorney Sal Intagliata’s motion for a lesser sentence.
The motion stated that by entering a no-contest plea, Williams took responsibility for his actions, resolved the case without a jury trial, and spared the child and witnesses from the necessity of testifying.
Intagliata argued that “substantial and compelling mitigating factors” warranted the sentence reduction.
Aside from two misdemeanor convictions for driving under the influence (in 2003 and 2005), one misdemeanor conviction for driving with a suspended license (2005), and one felony DUI (2010), Williams was had “no previous significant history of criminal activity,” Intagliata motion states.
“His age, lack of criminal history, rehabilitative efforts, and ability to take responsibility in this case, all show a level of maturity with age despite his mental retardation,” the motion says.
Intagliata incorporated a 41-page psychiatric evaluation from 2013 and an intellectual evaluation from a different doctor in 2014 in an effort to show that Williams displayed signs of mental retardation.
The attorney argued that Williams’s mental condition could be considered “a type of immaturity,” which warranted a mitigating factor at sentencing.
Wichita pschologist T.A. Moeller administered a sex-offender evaluation that concluded Williams was a “low risk” to re-offend.
“Mr. Williams should not be regarded as a ‘pedophile,’” Moeller wrote in a report Intagliata submitted.
Williams will continue to see Moeller while incarcerated.
The motion also stated that Williams had the support of his wife, Rebecca Williams, and father, Jack Williams, each of whom were said to “readily agree that the…overall allegations do not define who Gary is.”
Their wish would be that Gary be given the opportunity to have a second chance after serving his sentence, to prove to his family and this community that he can be a law-abiding person—a better person—and to help his family heal and find forgiveness,” Intagliata’s motion states
His father also “relies on Gary to help on the farm,” the motion went on to say.
Intagliata noted Williams has “tremendous support” from his friends, even after the incident. Some were said to find the allegations “difficult to believe.”
The attorney’s motion noted that Williams had an “impressive” employment record and has significant familial obligations, requiring him to continue to support his family.
The motion states that although the victim and the victim’s mother did not “expressly support” a 97.5-month sentence, they were in agreement with the proposed resolution of the case and the potential sentence.
Although state law and this newspaper’s policy protect the identity of rape victims, especially minors, it can be reported that the victim was a member of Williams’ extended family.