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Sexual assault prison term affirmed

In a decision released Tuesday, the District III Court of Appeals upheld a 10-year prison sentence for a 63-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting a girl at a family gathering in the town of Hammond.

The appeals court affirmed the judgment of St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell, who sentenced Mark V. Kramer Sr. to 10 years in prison followed by 15 years of extended supervision. Kramer was also ordered to make restitution, which includes paying for counseling for the girl.

Kramer, whose address was Rhinelander when he was charged, is currently an inmate at Stanley Correctional Institution.

He was originally charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child, without bodily harm, for inappropriate touching that allegedly occurred between Aug. 13 and Aug. 14, 2006.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, the charge was reduced to second-degree sexual assault, and Kramer pleaded guilty.

The district attorney recommended Kramer serve jail time and be placed on probation for the maximum time allowed.

According to background in the appeals court decision, that sentencing recommendation was based on a psychotherapist's report that Kramer had been forthright about his actions and was invested in treatment.

Judge Lundell rejected sentencing recommendations, finding prison time was necessary for both punishment and deterrence.

In appealing the sentence, Kramer argued that the judge relied on inaccuracies in the presentence report, didn't give adequate consideration to expert opinions, ruled out rehabilitation as an option and imposed the 10-year sentence to deter other possible offenders and to punish Kramer.

While he challenged some of the facts in the presentence report, including a report that he confessed to another incident of inappropriate sexual conduct, the appeals court found Kramer failed to establish that the information was inaccurate or that the judge relied on the information.

The appeals court noted that Lundell addressed Kramer's character and need to protect the public, emphasizing that he had prior convictions for "deviant sexual conduct" and had been on probation twice before but hadn't served jail time.

"While (Judge Lundell) acknowledged Kramer's efforts not to relapse after his previous crimes, (Lundell) stressed the severity of this crime and concluded Kramer should not have another opportunity to relapse," wrote the Court of Appeals.

The court concluded Lundell's reasoning showed he had considered the experts' opinions, probation and rehabilitation. It also found that Kramer failed to show the sentence was not reasonable or justified.