Court Updates: Roy Tidwell III
A Sabetha man who was arrested and charged in May 2018 in both Brown and Nemaha counties for child sex crimes entered a plea of no contest in Brown County.
Roy Tidwell III, 27, of Sabetha entered the plea on Monday, Aug. 6. In exchange for the plea, a charge of sexual exploitation of a child was dismissed. Tidwell is now scheduled to be sentenced Monday, Sept. 10.
Tidwell was arrested and charged in Brown County on Friday, May 4, for rape, aggravated internet trading in child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child.
These charges stem from an extensive investigation by the FBI and Kansas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with the assistance of the Hiawatha Police Department and Nemaha County Sheriff’s Office. Hill said the victim was 3 years old when offenses were allegedly committed between July and December of 2017 in Hiawatha.
Tidwell was arrested by the Hiawatha PD and remains in the Brown County Jail on $3 million bond.
Attorney Richard Lake has been appointed to represent Tidwell. If convicted, Tidwell could face a sentence of life in prison.
According to Nemaha County Attorney Brad Lippert, the victim in Tidwell’s case is also a victim in a similar case in Nemaha County involving 27-year-old Eric Carlson of Sabetha. Carlson was arrested on Thursday, May 3, in Nemaha County.
Nemaha County Charges
Tidwell also has been charged in Nemaha County with aggravated indecent liberties with a child and sexual exploitation of a child.
Lippert said the complaint alleges that in 2017, Tidwell engaged in lewd fondling or touching of a child under 14 years of age; and also used, persuaded, induced, enticed or coerced this same child to engage in sexually explicit conduct with the intent to promote the performance.
This case was investigated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Nemaha County Sheriff’s Department, the Wichita Police Department and the Hiawatha Police Department.
Bond in the Nemaha County case has been set at $3 million.
If convicted, the defendant could be sentenced under Jessica’s Law for both alleged offenses, which would result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
Lippert said that he anticipates that no hearings will be scheduled in Nemaha County until his Brown County case is resolved.