Tidwell sentenced to two life terms for child sex crimes

A Sabetha man who was arrested and charged in May 2018 in both Brown and Nemaha counties for child sex crimes has received his sentence in Brown County

Roy Tidwell III, 27, was sentenced Monday, Sept. 10, to two consecutive life terms or charges of rape and aggravated internet trading in child pornography. Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill said the sentence was handed down after the state provide evidence of graphic text messages, which were extracted from the defendant’s phone.

Tidwell plead no contest last month to the felony charges, and as a result a charge of sexual exploitation of a child was dismissed.

Tidwell was arrested and charged in Brown County on Friday, May 4, after 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.

According to Nemaha County Attorney Brad Lippert, the victim in Tidwell’s case also is 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.

A court date has not been set yet for the Nemaha County charges.

Heather Stewart269 Posts

Heather Stewart is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2015. She specializes in court and sports reporting, as well as photography. Heather is a 2011 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in psychology. She lives in Sabetha with her husband.

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