Thirty-five-year-old James Fletcher was sentenced Thursday for five counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Prosecutors said he repeatedly fondled the girl’s breasts, starting when she was 11.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports about 30 people who supported Fletcher attended the sentencing. His attorneys had filed nearly 30 letters backing Fletcher, who had no previous criminal record.
The judge said the community support was admirable but was not sufficient reason to depart from sentencing guidelines mandating life in prison for the crimes.
Fletcher’s attorney, Sarah Swain, said she planned to immediately appeal the sentence.