CHIPPEWA FALLS — A 27-year-old man who sexually assaulted a girl between September 2011 and September 2012 — when she was 5 years old — was sentenced Wednesday to serve 360 days in jail.
Joseph R. Moldrem, 215 W. Columbia St., pleaded no contest in October in Chippewa County Court to third-degree sexual assault and causing mental harm to a child. On Wednesday, Judge Steve Cray ordered the jail sentence along with four years of probation.
“This is a serious offense,” Cray said. “The crime itself is disturbing, mostly because of the age of the child and the trauma caused. I do believe you are in need of counseling and rehabilitation.”
Cray added: “You’ve notbeen cooperative; you’ve shown no remorse.”
District Attorney Wade Newell requested the one-year jail sentence. Newell said the girl gave consistent interviews, providing details of what happened to her.
“My gut reaction is he doesn’t want to admit to what he’s done here,” Newell told Cray. “There is no question in my mind of her believability.”
Newell said the one year in jail is warranted because of the trauma the girl has suffered.
“She has been going through counseling related to this,” Newell said.
Defense attorney John Bachman requested a 60-day delay before Moldrem starts serving his jail sentence. Bachman also asked that Moldrem be allowed to serve the jail sentence in Eau Claire County. Cray granted a shorter delay, allowing Moldrem to report to jail no later than Jan. 31. Cray also granted Huber work release privileges and allowed him to serve the sentence in another jail.
Conditions of probation include no contact with any juveniles, the victim or her family, and to pay $1,036 in court costs. He also must cooperate with any sex offender treatment ordered by a probation agent.
Moldrem was originally charged with first-degree child sexual assault, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, the girl told police in February 2015, when she was 8 years old, that Moldrem had been sexually assaulting her off and on at a home on Island Street in Chippewa Falls, beginning when she was 5 years old.
Moldrem was charged this week in Dunn County with strangulation and suffocation and battery; he has a return date there March 6. Newell said that charge didn’t affect his recommendation in the Chippewa County case.
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