A 25-year-old Wisconsin man recently pled guilty in La Cross County Circuit Court to third degree sexual assault. He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. The incident that led to the charges did not become a criminal case until the father of the alleged victim found out that she was pregnant.
Reportedly, the story leading up to the initial charges involved an online interaction between the young man and a 14-year-old girl he met on Facebook. Prosecutors claimed that the two agreed to meet in August 2010 at a public park, where they reportedly had sex in a bathroom. When the father of the girl discovered that she was pregnant, he reported the situation to the police.
The young man admitted in court that he had made mistakes, but that he couldn't apologize because his apology would not be accepted. "I may not be the best person in the world," he said. "--none of us are perfect."
The 25-year-old had also been a victim of abuse, and the young man's lawyer defended him on the basis of that abuse history. The lawyer cited the fact that the young man had been abandoned and abused by his own parents and his adoptive family.
The judge acknowledged the defendant's previous criminal record but expressed confidence that the young man had time to change.
According to the decision, the 25-year-old will undergo sex-offender treatment while serving three and a half years in prison, in addition to four years of extended supervision following his release.
Source: lacrossetribune.com, "Man gets prison for sex with 14-year-old," Chris Hubbuch, Nov. 23, 2011