We have often posted about Wisconsin's hard-line stance on sex crimes. Those who are charged with a sex crime can face literally hundreds of years in prison because of the classification of sex crimes as felonies. Additionally, those who are suspected of a sex crime are often charged with several felonies at once.
A recent case involving a 44-year-old Waukesha man illustrates this point. Earlier this month, he was arrested and charged with six felonies for his alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl from Belgium, Wisconsin. If convicted on all counts, he could face a total of 140 years in prison.
According to police, the man met the high school student on a social networking site and the two began exchanging text messages. The girl reportedly told the man that she was only 15 but he allegedly responded that her age did not matter to him.
Eventually, the text messages became sexual in nature. The girl told police she sent nude photos of parts of her body as well as pictures of herself performing a specific sex act.
The man also allegedly met the girl in person and had sex or sexual contact with her on two occasions; once at the girl's house and once in a public park. The man faces two sexual assault charges for each of those encounters.
The relationship was discovered and reported by the girl's parents, and this is when police became involved. A detective used the girl's cell phone and posed as her in order to set up a meeting with the defendant. He was arrested when he arrived.
In addition to the four charges of sexual assault, the man has been charged with possession of child pornography stemming from the nude text messages. He has also been charged with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.
As we have said in the past, accusations of a sex crime are often as injurious as a conviction. Even if the evidence against someone seems irrefutable, it is important to remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in court.
Source: Sheboyganpress.com, "Man charged with sexually assaulting Belgium girl, 15," 04 May 2011