A Kansas judge who blamed two teenage girls for a sexual encounter with a 67-year-old man has spent a decade on the bench overseeing mostly sealed juvenile and child-in-need-of-care cases behind closed doors.
Since Leavenworth County Judge Michael Gibbens took over the criminal docket for a retiring district judge last summer his rulings have drawn more scrutiny and criticism. In a widely panned decision in December, the judge eased a man’s sentence after saying the sex abuse victims, ages 13 and 14, were “more an aggressor than a participant.”
Court documents reviewed by The Associated Press show it’s not the first time Gibbens substantially departed from Kansas sentencing guidelines in handing down lenient punishments. In one case he gave probation for battery of a police officer.