Monday, June 22, 2009

Three Men Plead Guilty to Video Taping Sexual Assault

Marcus Lewis,25, Dewayne Towner, 26, and Daniel Webster, 21, had pleaded guilty to sexual assault, and exploiting a child by video taping the encounter. The three are now off to prison after offering apologies to those they hurt.

By pleaded no contest to the charges against them, the three defendants who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old Green Bay girl and video taped the crime avoided a trial. It was that tape that landed Marcus Lewis, Dewayne Towner and Daniel Webster behind bars. Police found the video in the home where the three men were staying. At the time, officers were following up on an unrelated sexual assault complaint, of a 19-year old girl.

Dana Johnson: I obviously think they know what they did was wrong they were videotaping a 16-year-old and the were assaulting her.

Charges were reduced in court to third degree sexual assault based on what was on the tape...But the judge in case calls the video "frightening."

"I'm not losing sight of the fact that you taping it in of itself is a terrible victimization of this person," said Judge Marc Hammer.

And it's the video taping of the assault--a charge of child exploitation-- that gave the three the most time behind bars. Six years for Webster, seven years each for Lewis and Towner. Each received three years prison time on the sexual assault charge. The sentences will be served concurrently.

"We had three goals," explained assistant district attorney Dana Johnson. He says they wanted to insure they got felony convictions, prison sentences, and not to have to have the victim return to the state to testify at a trial.

The court confirmed the 16-year-old victim, as well as the 19-year-old victim for which Lewis was also sentenced for third degree sexual assault, have moved out of state and offered no victim statements. The only impact testimony came from Webster's mother.

"I'm here to support my son," Joyce Webster told the court.

Outside of court she agreed the sentence was fair.

"It's a shocker but he has to pay for his consequences," said Joyce Webster.

She says her son has expressed regret for his actions, and the other defendants offered apologies in court.

"I hurt a lot of people, made some wrong choices and I apologize for what I did," said Lewis.

Each defendant has been behind bars for nearly a year, since their arrest, that time will be subtracted from their prison sentence. Once they get out of prison each will be under extended supervision by the courts.

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