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Anthony ‘AJ’ Lay

A 20-year-old Willis man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday in Brown County District Court on charges of felony aggravated sexual battery, criminal possession of a firearm in connection with burglary charges in Atchison County, along with several other charges.

Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill said Anthony “AJ” Lay was sentenced to 120 months in prison, with no probation, and ordered to register as a sex offender for 25 years on charges of sexual battery. He was given credit for 335 days in jail. The sentences were for three separate cases — a total of 10 years — with all sentences to run concurrent to the rape sentence.

Lay appeared in court on Jan. 2 and entered pleas to three different cases. In the second case, Lay pled no contest to felony aggravated sexual battery of an individual over the age of 18. Hill stated that the plea was entered after consultation with and the blessing of the victim, her family and law enforcement who worked the case as the conviction should result in a lengthy prison sentence and registration as a sex offender for 25 years after release from prison without the necessity of the victim having to re-live the offense by testifying at the jury trial set in February.

Lay was formally charged Jan. 9, 2018 in connection with an alleged rape of an individual over the age of 18, as investigated by the Hiawatha Police Department.

Lay was also arrested in January 2019 in Hiawatha on burglary and theft charges relating to a break-in in Atchison County and charges of possession of stolen property in addition to other charges in Brown County.

He was accused of burglarizing Armstrong Tires in rural Muscotah in Atchison County several times, allegedly using a fake name to possess tire orders, then failing to pick them up. According to court documents, Lay broke into the business at least six times since early December and the amount placed on stolen items is around $8,000. Brown County authorities had received tips about Lay allegedly selling stolen goods — which led to a joint investigation between the two counties.

In this case, Lay pled no contest to felony criminal possession of a firearm, a level 8 non person felony. He said the stolen property charges filed in the Brown County case arose out of property stolen in Atchison County.

In the final case, Lay pled no contest to several counts Count I – Felony Fleeing to Elude a Police Officer, a level 9 person felony; Count II — Circumvention of Ignition Interlock Device, a class A non-person misdemeanor; Count III — No Insurance, a class B non-person misdemeanor; Count IV — Improper Registration, an unclassified misdemeanor; Count V — Speeding, a traffic infraction; and Count VI — Failure to Activate and Use Turn Signal, a traffic infraction.

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