One of two brothers who sexually assaulted a girl for more than two years will spend eight years in prison.
“There was activity that appeared to be grooming,” Eau Claire County Judge Michael Schumacher said Monday during James M. Hutter’s sentencing hearing.
“He took advantage of a family. He took advantage of a young teenaged girl,” the judge said. “There’s clearly a need for the protection of the community.”
Hutter, 28, of Arkansaw, was convicted by an Eau Claire County jury in June of a felony count of second-degree sexual assault of a child.
Schumacher ordered Hutter to spend eight years on extended supervision following his release from prison.
As conditions of supervision, Hutter cannot have contact with the victim or unsupervised contact with other children. He must undergo a sex offender assessment and register as a sex offender.
Hutter cannot drink alcohol, enter taverns or have contact with known drug dealers or users.
Hutter’s brother, Johnathan M. Hutter, 27, of Durand, was sentenced in December 2016 to six years in prison and six years of extended supervision for the same felony charge.
Eau Claire County assistant district attorney Ellen Anderson, who recommended a 12-year prison term for James Hutter, said Hutter also introduced the victim’s parents to methamphetamine.
“Not only did he commit the offense, he also admittedly engaged in significant illegal drug use,” she said. “What actually happened here is an incredible breach of boundaries.”
Defense attorney Erika Amundson, who sought a three- or four-year prison term for Hutter, said her client has a limited criminal history, is open to drug treatment and was convicted of sexual touching with the girl, not sexual intercourse.
Hutter told Schumacher he is a drug addict and wants to participate in drug and alcohol treatment.
“I feel terrible for everyone involved. This will affect them for the rest of their lives,” Hutter said.
“I will not be involved in anything like this in the future,” he said. “I don’t want to lose out anymore because of poor life decisions.”
According to the criminal complaint:
The girl told police she was sexually assaulted by the Hutter brothers between January 2013 and summer 2015 on several occasions at the girl’s Eau Claire residences. The sexual contact began when the girl was 13 years old.
The contact never involved intercourse.
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