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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Defendant pleads to aggravated sexual battery

  • A man who's already been convicted in another county of rape and kidnapping has pleaded guilty to committing aggravated sexual battery in Leavenworth.
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  • A man who's already been convicted in another county of rape and kidnapping has pleaded guilty to committing aggravated sexual battery in Leavenworth.
    Craig L. Gooch, 28, entered the plea Friday in Leavenworth County District Court. The crime occurred in November 2011.
    He had been charged in Leavenworth County District Court with rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault and misdemeanor theft. But with his guilty plea to the amended charge of aggravated sexual battery, other counts were dismissed as part of an agreement reached with the prosecution. A separate case involving a misdemeanor charge of violation of a protection order also was dismissed. The terms of the plea agreement were outlined in court by Assistant County Attorney Michael Jones and Gooch's attorney, Stephen Chapman.
    In reaching the resolution in the case, Jones said he'd spent a lot of time communicating with the defense attorney as well as the victim.
    Under the terms of the plea agreement, there will be a sentencing recommendation of 136 months, or more than 11 years. But it will be recommended that the sentence run concurrent to one Gooch recently received in Reno County. That means he would serve the two sentences at the same time.
    Last month, Gooch was sentenced in Reno County District Court to more than 59 years in prison. In January, he was found guilty in that county of rape, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated intimidation of a victim, making a criminal threat, interference with a law enforcement officer and vehicle burglary.
    The crimes occurred in May 2012 in Hutchinson. At the time he was arrested last year in Hutchinson, Gooch already was facing charges in Leavenworth County.
    Sentencing for the aggravated sexual battery charge is scheduled for May 31.
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