Kevin Wendall Kays of Warren was sentenced Thursday to spend between 12 and a half and 25 years in prison for a sexual relationship with a child lasting more than two years.
Judge Maureen Skerda handed down the sentence for a single count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child immediately after finding Kays to be a sexually violent predator by definition of the law.
Kays maintained a sexual relationship with a juvenile male between January 2009 and September 2011. At the time, Kays was between 31 and 34 years old while the juvenile was between 10 and 12 years old.
An October 2011 police investigation led to 36 charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, obscene and other sexual materials and performances, indecent assault, corruption of minors and indecent exposure.
On March 26, Kays entered a plea of guilty to a single count of deviate sexual intercourse with a child. The other charges were not prosecuted.
Testimony to determine whether Kays met the legal standard to be declared a sexually violent predator under Pennsylvania law lasted for more than an hour Thursday.
According to testimony by the juvenile's stepmother, Kays was a longtime friend of her husband who regularly visited their house. She said she only became suspicious of Kays after finding a number of gifts, including valuable electronic items, hidden behind the victim's bed with a number of sexually explicit notes. She testified Kays later admitted to writing the notes.
Brenda Manno, who sits on the sexual offenders' assessment board, also testified. Manno stated she has done 702 pre-sentencing assessments and 419 pre-parole assessments in her tenure on the board. She said that of those 702 pre-sentence assessments, she has ruled only 224 to be sexually violent predators under the requirements of the law.
She ruled Kays to fit the profile of a sexually violent predator due to "victim grooming" behavior and a mental abnormality. Specifically, she said she found the age difference between Kays and his victim indicated he is, "paraphilic, specifically, pedophilic."
"I think he is likely to continue this behavior based on the abnormality," Manno testified.
In all, Manno said she believed Kays met seven of a possible 15 indicators of a sexually violent predator under the law.
Skerda adjudicated in agreement with Manno.
Prior to sentencing, Kays said, "I know I caused a lot of pain and anguish to the victim. I also want to apologize to my family for letting them down. I know what I did was wrong. I just want to prove I'm still a valuable member of society."
Skerda sentenced Kays to register as a lifetime Megan's Law offender, submit a DNA sample and $1,500 in fines and costs in addition to his sentence of 150 to 300 months in state prison. He was given credit for 332 days time served.
The charge is a felony and Kays will be required to meet state and federal requirements pursuant to his status as a convicted felon.
Skerda ordered Kays to attend counseling as a sexual offender while incarcerated and to receive an associated evaluation and comply with any recommended treatment.
"These types of crimes are often silent crimes. A child is a victim that is especially vulnerable," Skerda said when handing down the sentence. "A child is a victim with a future that has been horribly changed by these actions."