WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Sedgwick County jury has found a Wichita man guilty of kidnapping and attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
A 30-year-old woman told police that her 8-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old cousin were playing outside the motel when an unknown man pulled her daughter into a nearby storage shed. He allegedly attempted to hold her against her will. The girl screamed for help causing the man to panic, and he fled.
A probable cause affidavit gave details about the police investigation. The girl and her cousin both told officers they were playing hide-and-seek when Withrow approached them after waving at them from a line of trees. They said he told them that they should split up if they were trying to hide.
When they split up, the girl said Withrow put his hand over her mouth and told her, “Don’t say anything,” as he took her into a shed against her will. She said he touched her stomach under her shirt and tried to pull her pants down before running off.
A third child saw Withrow drive away on a lawnmower toward a nearby cemetery.
Police say the witnesses identified Withrow in a photo lineup, so officers brought him in for questioning.
According to the affidavit, Withrow said he went into the tree line to urinate. He said that when he saw the children, he was scared because he is a “felon” and a “registered sex offender.” He said he did not know what to do, so he waved at the children.
He told detectives that he did advise the girls that it would be better to split up while hiding, and they did. He said he grabbed one of the girls and put his hand over her mouth because she started to scream, and he was afraid she would tell someone she saw him urinating.
Withrow denied taking the girl into the shed, touching her stomach, and trying to pull her pants down.
Last week, a jury convicted Withrow. A judge will sentence him on July 12.