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Lawrence massage therapist receives three life sentences for felony aggravated indecent liberties with child, five years in county jail for sexual batteries

Friday, September 24, 2021 - 12:11pm

Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez today announced that Shawn O’Brien, 50, of Lawrence was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years for each of three felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and 12 months in Douglas County Jail for each of five misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. 

The felony charges stemmed from multiple incidents in O’Brien’s home in which he touched a girl younger than 14 under her clothes on her chest and inside her underpants, while claiming to give her a massage.

The sexual battery convictions involved inappropriate touching of massage clients at his place of business and at the University of Kansas, where he was under contract with the women’s soccer team.

“These sentences can’t erase what happened to the survivors,” Valdez said. “But I hope the strong message from the court can restore their sense of empowerment, safety and justice. My office will not tolerate abuses of power and trust such as the actions by Mr. O’Brien.”

District Judge Sally Pokorny ordered that the life sentences will be served concurrently, but the county jail time will be served consecutively. That means O’Brien will be eligible for parole from the Kansas Department of Corrections after 25 years but then must serve five years in county jail. Additionally, if he is released, he must wear an electronic monitoring device and be under supervision for life.

The state was represented by Valdez and Deputy District Attorney Joshua Seiden. The case was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department, University of Kansas Office of Public Safety and the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

Media Contact

Jill Jess, Public Information Officer
785-841-0211