Defendant sentenced to life without parole

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
William Cody Henshaw

A Leavenworth man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for sexual exploitation of a child.

The life sentence was required for William Cody Henshaw under state law because he was designated as an aggravated habitual sex offender.

Henshaw, 26, was sentenced Friday in Leavenworth County District Court. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of sexual exploitation of a child.

The crime occurred in 2017.

The Court Attorney’s Office filed charges against Henshaw after his phone was seized during a meeting with a parole officer because of suspicion that it contained pornography, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.

A forensic examination of the phone revealed Henshaw was in possession of photos of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to Thompson.

In December, Henshaw pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of a child. At the time, the prosecution and defense intended to recommend a sentence of more than 11 years in prison. But attorneys later learned the law could require Henshaw to serve a life sentence.

In February, District Judge Gerald Kuckelman granted a motion to set aside the plea.

On March 10, Henshaw pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child even though he was still subject to a life sentence. The other charges were dismissed, according to court records.

A Kansas Department of Corrections website indicates Henshaw previously was convicted of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child, attempted aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

These crimes occurred in 2012.

Two other special sentencing rules applied to Henshaw’s sentencing Friday. A special rule applied because the crime of sexual exploitation of a child was committed while Henshaw was on parole. Another special rule applied because Henshaw also was designated as a persistent sexual offender.

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