Hasty receives 16-month sentence on June charges
By Brian Sanders
A Mayetta teen convicted on two counts of indecent liberties with a 3-year-old girl received a 16-month juvenile detention sentence on Wednesday, with the possibility that the sentence may last another 10 years if he violates the terms of the juvenile sentence.
Jackson County District Court Judge Micheal Ireland ordered 17-year-old Weston Hasty to begin the sentence at the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Topeka immediately after passing down the sentence. Hasty also was ordered to undergo “aftercare” treatment following the completion of his detention until he is 23 years of age.
In addition to the juvenile sentence, Ireland also gave Hasty an “adult sentence” of 118 months with the Kansas Department of Corrections — 59 months on each indecent liberties count, both to be served consecutively — plus 48 months post-release probation. However, the adult sentence would be stayed indefinitely if Hasty fulfills the terms of his juvenile sentence without incident, Jackson County Attorney Shawna Miller said.
Hasty had originally been charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child in connection with three incidents that reportedly occurred last June at a daycare operated by his mother, Judy Hasty of Mayetta. Miller had filed a motion shortly afterward to try Hasty, 16 at the time of the reported incidents, as an adult, but Magistrate Judge Blaine Carter denied the motion in October.
However, Miller urged Ireland to keep in mind that had Hasty only been a year and a half older at the time the reported offenses were committed, he would be facing a “25-to-life” sentence. She also asked Ireland to deny a motion by defense attorney James Heathman of Topeka to allow probation for Hasty, and Ireland agreed, adding that Hasty would have to register as a sex offender for five years.
According to Miller, the presumed sentencing for Hasty would have ranged from 24 months of incarceration up to incarceration until Hasty turned 22 1/2 years old, followed by an aftercare term until he turned 23.
The charges against Hasty stemmed from three reported incidents in June when he and the 3-year-old girl, a client at his mother’s daycare, engaged in “lewd fondling or touching,” it was reported. After the charges were filed, the daycare was ordered closed and has not since been reopened.
In Hasty’s defense, Heathman called on Topeka counselor Brent Cain, who had counseled Hasty after the charges were filed against him and said he was making good progress in his counseling. Cain also said Hasty’s sense of empathy toward the girl was “fairly well-developed,” but clarifying that was “an ongoing process.”
Also speaking on behalf of Hasty, Lenexa psychologist Bruce Cappo said he determined through working with Hasty that the teen “did not meet the criteria for pedophilia,” and the three reported incidents occurred within a week “in a fashion that I would call opportunistic rather than predatory.” Cappo also said Hasty “handled the situation poorly,” noting a difference between Hasty and those who are “truly predators.”
That did not appease the girl’s father, who pleaded with Ireland to give Hasty “the maximum prison sentence allowed by law.” According to the father, Hasty had confessed that he purposely chose the girl because “he didn’t think she would tell” and suggested that Hasty had been involved in similar behavior with another child at the daycare.
Miller agreed, saying that a motion filed by Heathman for downward dispositional and durational departure in sentencing was “almost offensive” in suggesting that Hasty would not have to serve any time at a correctional facility on the charges. She had also protested Ireland’s allowing Hasty to return to Royal Valley High School to attend certain classes prior to sentencing.
Although Ireland allowed the testimony of Cain and Cappo to stand when pronouncing the sentence, he also noted there was a responsibility to “protect society” and said that Cappo “cannot predict” what Hasty would do in the future. Furthermore, Ireland reiterated that Hasty “knew his actions were wrong,” adding that had the alleged incidents occurred only once, it “could truly be classified as a mistake and an error in judgment,” but not three times.
Ireland also said this was “a difficult case” to preside over and noted that “for the last 10 days, I’ve struggled to come up with an appropriate sentence” for Hasty, who offered an apology to the court for his actions. He also added that while there was “no doubt” that harm was done to the girl and her family in this case, it could have been worse.
“What could have happened to her, didn’t,” Ireland said.
Miller also noted the difficulty of the case, particularly for the girl’s family, for whom she said it has been “an emotional rollercoaster.”
“After the court’s denial of the state’s motion to try Hasty as an adult, they felt like their child had been let down by the system,” she said. “They feared that Hasty would not be held accountable for his actions and they feared other families would have to suffer what they had at the hands of Hasty. Although a longer term of incarceration would have been preferred, to assure the public’s safety, they are also glad that there has been some level of accountability for Hasty.”