Sunday, September 21, 2014

Melvern man jailed in child sex case

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 1/13/2014

LYNDON — A 38-year-old Melvern man faces multiple rape charges in a child sex abuse case in Osage County.

Ronald L. Hartpence Jr. has been charged in Osage County District Court with two counts of rape against a child younger than 14 and one count of committing aggravated indecent liberties with a different child, who also was younger than 14.

LYNDON — A 38-year-old Melvern man faces multiple rape charges in a child sex abuse case in Osage County.

Ronald L. Hartpence Jr. has been charged in Osage County District Court with two counts of rape against a child younger than 14 and one count of committing aggravated indecent liberties with a different child, who also was younger than 14.

Brandon Jones, Osage County attorney, filed the charges Wednesday after Hartpence was arrested earlier in the week by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of committing aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

Hartpence remained in Osage County Jail Monday afternoon, Laurie Dunn, Osage County sheriff, said. He is being held on $300,000 bond.

The complaint filed by Jones alleges that on two separate occasions between Sept. 1, 2011, and Nov. 27, 2013, Hartpence knowingly had unlawful sexual intercourse with a child younger than 14. During the same time period, the complaint alleges, Hartpence engaged in the lewd fondling or touching of another child younger than 14.

The two rape charges each carry a sentence of life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 25 years. The penalty for aggravated indecent liberties with a child younger than 14 also is life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

Hartpence is scheduled to make his next appearance 10 a.m. Thursday in Osage County District Court, 717 Topeka Ave., Lyndon.

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