PAWNEE COUNTY – A Pawnee County jury found Roy Gene Hill, 59 of Osage, Kansas guilty of a child sex crime during a trial Thursday, according to Pawnee County Attorney Doug McNett.
The jury heard testimony that the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call on February 10, 2019, at approximately 5 a.m. to respond to a possible sexual assault of a minor at a residence in Garfield, Kansas.
Once at the residence the responding officers were advised by the owners that their 13 year old granddaughter had been awaken in her bedroom at approximately 3 a.m. by a man touching her inappropriately.
The girl told the officers that she recognized the assailant as being her grandparent’s house guest.
The teenager testified at trial that after the assault occurred she was too scared to leave her room as she would have to pass the defendant to get to her grandmother’s room.
Hill had been staying on the family’s couch for several weeks. She attempted to call and text her grandmother serval times, but her grandmother did not wake up for over an hour. Hill was arrested at the scene without incident. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation handled the follow-up investigation.
The jury made up of 7 men and 5 women deliberated for approximately one hour Thursday afternoon before returning Guilty verdict of Aggravated Indecent Liberties with a Child Under the Age of 14. The defense argued law enforcement rushed to judgment and conducted an insufficient investigation.
Hill previously entered a No Contest plea on December 16, 2021, to Count 2 in the case to a charge of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender with the Pawnee County Sheriff.
Under the Kansas Offender Registration Act, offenders are required to notify the local sheriff if they remain in a County for more than 3 days. At the time, Hill was subject to life-time registration due to a previous Aggravated Indecent Liberties conviction for an incident in Neosho County in 2002.
Pursuant to a pretrial order, the Jury was not informed of Hill’s prior sex conviction, nor his duty to register.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 24, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.. The defendant has been in the custody of the Pawnee County Sheriff since February 10, 2019. Based on his prior sex offense, Hill now faces a mandatory 40 year under the Jessica’s Law sentencing provisions, according to McNett.