A 31-year-old Wichita man arrested late last week on suspicion of child rape was charged Wednesday with multiple sex crimes against four young girls, the oldest of whom are 8.
Steven T. Walters is facing one count of rape, one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and four counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, according to a criminal complaint filed in Sedgwick County District Court. Court records list two 8-year-olds, a 6-year-old and a 5-year-old as the victims of the alleged abuse.
Walters was booked into Sedgwick County Jail late Friday after being questioned by investigators at the Exploited and Missing Children’s Unit. EMCU Lt. Chris Bannister had said earlier this week that the alleged molestations appeared to be “chronic in nature” and “happened at a number of different places and times.”
The alleged offenses are Jessica’s Law crimes, which carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence of life without parole eligibility for 25 years for those convicted of certain sex crimes with children younger than 14.
Walters made his first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon via video link from the Sedgwick County Jail, where he is being held on a $250,000 bond.
“You don’t have to read them all. I understand them all,” Walters told the court as Judge Joe Kisner attempted to read the charges.
Kisner nodded, then advised Walters of his bond and a protective order barring him from contacting the alleged victims. The judge also set Walters’ preliminary hearing for April 30.
A police document indicates the parents of the children were aware of the alleged abuse. Bannister said Monday that authorities were investigating that claim.
He called Walters an acquaintance of the victims.