On Monday morning, Russell McFarland, age 65, previously of Wichita, appeared in the Pawnee County District for sentencing. The defendant was convicted on January 30, 2019 by jury of Aggravated Sexual Battery.
Testimony was presented at trial that on May 3, 3018, McFarland followed a 19-year old female staff member into a staff-only area of Larned State Hospital, forced her into a corner and tried to kiss her on the lips. The staff member was able to get free once another patient on the unit intervened. At the time, the defendant was a patient in the sexual predator treatment program. Additional testimony was presented that other patients on the unit were aware of McFarland’s intense infatuation of the staff member and were keeping an eye out for her once they saw her on the unit that day.
At Sentencing, Pawnee County Attorney Doug McNett requested the Court find McFarland a persistent sex offender based on his criminal history and double the presumptive prison sentence of 120 months. Court appointed counsel Charles Pike of Great Bend argued the degree of harm caused in the case was less than normally seen for this type of conviction and requested the Court reduce the presumptive sentence.
Following arguments of counsel, District Judge Bruce Gatterman found the defendant to be a persistent sex offender and sentenced the defendant to 200 months with the Department of Corrections. Gatterman further advised the defendant he will now be subject to the Kansas Offender Registration Act for a period of 25 years.
The defendant was returned to the custody of the Sexual Predator Treatment Program at Larned State Hospital pending transfer to the Department of Corrections.