|Greg P. Nicks|
By HURST LAVIANA
A former Wichita police officer received consecutive life prison sentences Friday for sexually abusing a 15-month-old girl.
Greg P. Nicks, 32, was given a life sentence on each of four counts of sexual exploitation of a child, and he was ordered to serve two of the sentences consecutively. He will have to serve 50 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Prosecutors said Nicks was arrested after sending sexually explicit cellphone pictures of himself and the girl to a woman he was having a sexual relationship with. The woman, Luz Coronado, 29, is serving a sentence of life without parole for 25 years on similar charges. Prosecutors said police were tipped off by the girl’s mother.
Defense lawyer Mark Schoenhofer said his client never had sexual contact with the girl. At the time, he said, Nicks was a body builder who was using steroids.
“The steroids not only increased Mr. Nicks’ muscularity, (they) also increased his appetite for sex,” Schoenhofer said in a written motion seeking a lighter prison sentence. “Mr. Nicks began leading a life of debauchery and over-indulgence in carnal pleasure. … The illicit relationship with Ms. Coronado advanced down a dark and perverted course of sexual promiscuity, including explicit text messages rife with sexual content.”
Nicks told District Judge Terry Pullman that his relationship with Coronado was an aberration.
“What I did is not what I am,” he said. “I’m just asking for a second chance. I won’t need a third.”
Prosecutor Justin Edwards introduced three written statements at the hearing, including one from the victim’s mother. She said Nicks had used her daughters — the 15-month-old and a 4-month-old — as sex objects to fulfill his sexual fantasies.
“I feel that Greg Nicks is beyond help and will act again on the impulse if given an opportunity,” she said in the statement.
Schoenhofer argued that no one was physically injured by Nicks’ behavior, and that the girls will have no memories of what Nicks did with them. Pullman said that doesn’t lessen the magnitude of the crime. He likened the crime to raping a comatose victim in a nursing home.
“A victim is no less a victim if there is no recollection of the injuries,” he said before imposing the sentence.
Nicks worked for the Wichita Police Department for just over three years beginning in 2006. He is a former football player for the Wichita Wild and the University of Kansas.