KAKE TV – By Chris Frank

WICHITA – Some Kansas lawmakers say the punishments for teen sexting are too severe and need to be changed.

Rep. Ramon Gonzalez, a republican from Perry, says his bill is aimed towards rehabilitating middle and high school students caught sexting rather than punishing them with a felony and having them on a sex offenders registry for life.

Rep. Gonzalez is Police Chief in Perry, Kansas and a sheriff’s detective in Jefferson County. Gonzalez says, “If a 12 year old sends a (nude) picture to a 16 year old or vice versa it’s classified as a level 9 felony.” He asks, “Why would you want to penalize a young person like that with a level 9 felony?” He says they would also register as a sex offender.

He says with the bill’s changes, if a teen sends a nude photo of another teen or is caught possessing such a transmitted photo, it’s still a crime but a misdemeanor rather than felony.

He says, “The whole intent was making sure we don’t criminalize a child to that degree when the child’s brain is still developing as far as cognitive skills.”

Gonzalez says the teens are being “stupid” when sexting — sending sexually suggestive texts or explicit photo’s. But he wants them to have the chance at being rehabilitated.

Wichita criminal defense attorney Dan Monnat says, “Until these proposed amendments, the only Kansas law that applied to sexting were the child pornography or the child exploitation laws which carried lengthy prison sentences and lengthy periods of sex offender registration. Many viewed those laws as too severe to apply to the misguided acts or intentionally cruel acts of young people. As a result sexting in Kansas was either punished too severely or not at all.”

Monnat says the bill’s changes will give more latitude to courts. “The proposed amendments give judges and prosecutors a brand new tool with which to achieve more fairness.”

The bill came to the House floor Tuesday for debate. There wasn’t any opposition to it. On Wednesday it returns to the House floor for a vote and is expected to pass. The Senate is considering a similar bill.

See full interview at KAKE.com

KAKE TV – By Bryan Ramsdale

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) — Repair Touch technology repair store near Towne West Square closed weeks ago, according to customers, and the store still has their cell phones and computers.

“I didn’t hear from them for a couple of weeks. I tried to contact them and found out that they were no longer open, so I couldn’t get a hold of anybody and I couldn’t get my phone back,” said Ryan Hilmes.

Hilmes operates Sewer Ratz Plumbing and says the cell phone he gave to Repair Touch for repairs has important contact information on it, and he also could be missing out on business from customers calling that line.

Hilmes says the store, located at 530 South West Street, has been closed for weeks now.

He has contacted the owner multiple times and is getting a different answer as for when he will get his phone back.

“He is telling me that will be back this day or the other day and he just hasn’t shown up to call me…he is just giving me the run around,” Hilmes added.

Repair Touch owner Ashraf Hamada tells KAKE News that he will give the phones and computers back when he returns to Wichita.

Customers should expect to have their phones back by Saturday night or Sunday morning.

“Everything happened all the sudden. I got a hold of most [the customers], there were a few that were not contacted,” Hamada said.

“There is nothing shady. There is nothing going on,” he added.

KAKE News spoke to local attorney Dan Monnat of Monnat & Spurrier, Attorneys at Law for guidance on this issue.

Monnat says that the best route is to keep calm, be courteous and hope that being cordial gets them their product back.

If that does not work, Monnat suggests a lawyer.

“Excuses, postponements, missed deadlines may indicate that a reasonable time for repair of the property has already passed and that some emergency action by a court is necessary to protect the consumers rights,” Monnat said.

Reasonable time can be tricky for both the customers and the business owner as for what is reasonable to get the consumers products returned.

KAKE News reached out to the Wichita Police Department. A lieutenant says that the affect customers need to file a police report to document the incident. Affect customers can call their local police sub-station to file a report.