UPDATE: Fri 9:48 AM, April 11, 2014
A former Langlade County Sheriff's Deputy will spend three years behind bars and seven on extended supervision after pleading guilty to second degree sexual assault of a child.
Twenty-six year-old Michael Brayton admitted to having a number of inappropriate relationships with teenage girls. Including sexual contact with a 15-year old. The plea deal with prosecutors trimmed the number of charges from 22-down to one.
A visibly upset Brayton apologized first to his teenage victims.
"I know the victims aren't here, but I'd like to apologize to them. How I hurt them, and they might not know it, but I do think about that and that their future, their future actions or judgment of men in law enforcement were probably affected by my actions and for that I am very sorry,” He said.
And then to the Langlade County Sheriff's Department.
"I'm sorry that I have tarnished their reputation for something they've had no part of,” he explained to the court.
Prior to sentencing the defense called three character witnesses including a college friend, a church minister, and Brayton's girlfriend-- who became choked up as she spoke about what she called the genuine change she's seen in Brayton.
The prosecution, however, was not convinced, focusing their attention on how they say Brayton and the defense blamed the victims and his role as a member of law enforcement.
"We turn to law enforcement to protect our children, to protect our community and when you're in that position authority and you turn around and it becomes someone you need protection from, that obviously, at least in the state's opinion was a very important factor for the court to consider making this a very aggravated offense,” Said
Deputy District attorney of Marathon County, Theresa Wetzsteon
The prosecution asked the judge for 11 years behind bars, but said they're pleased with the judges sentencing -- noting he took time to consider all the contributing factors in the case.
"The state was looking for more initial confinement, but the comments were very thoughtful by the court today,” said Wetzsteon.
The sound of stunned gasps followed by tears filled the courtroom as judge Michael Moran announced his sentence. Brayton was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs and will begin serving his sentence immediately.
He will get 16 days towards time served.
Brayton will also have to register as a convicted sex offender-- a list he will be on for the rest of his life.
ORIGINAL STORY: Wed 3:24 PM, Jan. 8, 2014
A former Langlade County Deputy accused of having an inappropriate relationship with teenage girls is expected to enter a plea Monday in Marathon County. The alleged crimes took place from Jan. to July 2012.
The criminal complaint states Michael Brayton, 26, had sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl. She also told investigators she received 10-15 nude photos of Brayton.
He's facing 22 charges including, four counts of 2nd degree sexual assault of a child, two counts of child enticement, and 16 counts of exposing his genitals to a child after investigators say he carried on an inappropriate relationship with four high school students.
It was found none of the alleged crimes took place while Brayton was on duty.
In a news release, the Langlade County Sheriff says Brayton was deputy with department from July 2008 to June 11, 2012. According to the criminal complaint, Brayton resigned.
Marathon County will be prosecuting the case to avoid a conflict of interest.
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