Sex offenses against 2 children brings 25-year prison sentence

A man who committed sex offenses against two young girls while armed was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Christopher Michael Way, 30, of Panama City, pled no contest to Lewd or Lascivious Molestation, Lewd or Lascivious Battery, Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Aggravated Assault (Deadly Weapon).

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The defendant is fingerprinted following sentencing as Prosecutor Jennifer Lieb, right, waits.

Circuit Court Judge Brantley Clark also ordered that the defendant, upon his release, serve 10 years Sex Offender Probation. That means he will be required to wear an electronic monitor, will be designated a sexual offender, must register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life, and must complete sex offender counseling. He also will not be allowed any contact with the victim, nor any contact with a minor.

Prosecutor Jennifer Lieb was prepared to call witnesses and present evidence that would have proven the defendant committed sexual offenses against two young girls in a Panama City home on June 12, 2021. He was armed with a gun at the time, which he used to threaten the victims if they told anyone what he had done.

Basford thanked the Panama City Police Department and Inv. Matthew Kelly for their work on the case, as well as the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, which interviewed both victims and elicited key evidence.

For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at, or call 850-381-7454.