AP NEWS

Reedsburg man sentenced to 6 years prison for child sex assault

March 19, 2019
Rossing

A Reedsburg man convicted of multiple crimes involving underage girls must spend six years behind bars and register as a sex offender, a judge decided Monday.

During a sentencing hearing involving three felony cases, Sauk County Assistant District Attorney Rick Spoentgen said any one of the charges against 19-year-old Adrian J. Rossing considered in isolation could be chalked up to a young man making a bad mistake.

However, when taken together, Spoentgen said, they showed a pattern of behavior that indicated something much more serious.

“And that is that he is a sexual predator, and he needs to be treated as such,” Spoentgen said.

The most serious case involved a felony charge of second-degree child sexual assault stemming from a relationship that Rossing had with a 12-year-old girl when he was 16.

Following no contest pleas, he also was found guilty of having intercourse with a 15-year-old girl when he was 18, soliciting an underage girl through private messages, and possessing child pornography.

Spoentgen recommended a total sentence of 10 years in prison followed by seven years of probation, plus numerous conditions upon release including sex offender registration and treatment.

Rossing’s attorney, Michael Covey of Madison, argued for a lighter punishment, saying the prosecution’s recommendation would be a “lock him up and throw away the key sentence” that was too harsh for an emotionally immature young man.

He described Rossing as “young, terrified and untreated” and asked the judge to consider his client’s dysfunctional childhood environment and mental health issues.

Rossing hung his head during portions of the hearing, and expressed remorse while addressing the judge prior to sentencing. He said he never was able to find his place in society and could not find the words to express his regret.

Rossing also said he wanted the opportunity to get a job, be a “normal kid” and show his grandmother that his prior behavior does not define him.

“I really would like to show her that I can be a better person,” he said.

Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock said a prison sentence seemed necessary to protect the public while Rossing undergoes treatment. However, he did not accept the state’s recommendation of a decade behind bars.

Screnock sentenced Rossing to six years in prison and six years on probation upon his release on the sexual assault charge. Shorter sentences on to the other charges are to run concurrent with that one.

Rossing will have to register as a sex offender, undergo treatment, and may have no contact with his victims, their families, or any females under the age of 18 unless allowed by his probation agent.

He also will be restricted from accessing the internet unless for purposes deemed appropriate by his agent.

Screnock said he accepted the defense’s argument that Rossing was emotionally immature, and that his life was worth more than how he had been treated by others.

“I don’t want you to leave this courtroom thinking the court thinks you’re worthless and you have nothing to offer us,” Screnock told Rossing. “Because that is certainly not what the court believes.”

Rossing will be 25 years old when he is released from prison, and will then remain under the direct supervision of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections until he is 31.