A 37-year-old man from Wausau could face up to 80 years of jail time after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors for his alleged crimes against children.
According to Marathon County Circuit Court records, the man was found guilty of two felony charges: using a computer to facilitate a sex crime and sexual assault of a child under age 16.
The man, who was one of 17 men arrested in a three-day sting back in March of 2013, was the first arrest by Marathon County investigators after joining the state's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He was also the only suspect arrested in Marathon County during the multi-county sting. Other arrests occurred in Door, Dane and Brown counties.
Police said that during the sting, the man allegedly exchanged emails with a deputy posing as a 15-year-old boy. The man was attempting to arrange a sexual encounter after the deputy responded to a Craigslist ad that the suspect had placed in the "casual encounters" section of men seeking men.
The man was arrested in a traffic stop a short while after their scheduled meeting was to take place. Upon questioning, he allegedly stated that although he had met men for sexual encounters from previously placed Craigslist ads, he had never solicited an underage boy before. Court records show that he told police he didn't know why he was attempting to meet a 15-year-old boy and called it a temporary "moment of weakness."
The man is currently free on a $10,000 bond but is expected to be sentenced on January 28.
An experienced attorney can ensure that a defendant's right are protected during the legal process. In addition, providing a strong defense is a must, as the penalties for sex crimes often involve lengthy prison or jail sentences and placement on the sex offenders registry.
Source: Wausau Daily Herald, "Wausau man to be sentenced on child sex charges" Shereen Siewert, Jan. 09, 2014