Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that today a jury convicted Lawrence resident Michael L. Henderson, 38, of electronic solicitation.
The case stems from an October 2016 investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DGSO). A private citizen contacted DGSO and told investigators that she believed Henderson was attempting to meet young girls online for sexual purposes. DGSO was assisted in the investigation by a detective with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO). The JCSO detective, posing as a 14-year-old girl, responded to an ad placed online by Henderson. Henderson believed he was communicating with a 14-year-old girl and stated he was looking for, “adult fun.” He later solicited sexual intercourse, offered to bring condoms and made arrangements to meet the 14-year-old girl. He drove himself to the address where he believed the 14-year-old girl lived and he was arrested. When arrested, he was found to be in possession of condoms.
Henderson’s jury trial began in the Division Five Courtroom on Monday, April 9 with jury selection. Opening statements were delivered later in the day. The case continued the remainder of Monday and into Tuesday. Both sides rested their case late Tuesday. Closing statements were delivered this morning and the case went to the jury at 12:15. The jury returned its verdict at approximately 3:22.
Henderson faces 55 to 247 months in prison for the felony conviction. His actual sentence depends on his prior criminal history. The Court ordered his bond revoked, that a pre-sentence investigation be completed and scheduled him to be sentenced on May 17 at 9:30 a.m.
The Honorable Paula B. Martin presided over the trial. The case was investigated by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office with assistance by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Assistant District Attorney David Melton and Assistant District Attorney Hannah Wittman prosecuted the case.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor