Life In Prison For Sexual Assault Suspect
SHEBOYGAN - A man who sent a letter to a relative from prison disclosing he sexually assaulted a boy in 2002 will spend life in prison with no possible parole after pleading guilty to a third crime of assaulting children.
Virgil Outland, 51, of Sheboygan presented no defense and was without an attorney when he appeared Tuesday in Sheboygan County Circuit Court.
Judge Gary Langhoff repeatedly explained to Outland that he had the rights to an attorney and a trial, and what penalty he faced if convicted.
But Outland pleaded guilty to the charge of repeated sexual assault of a child, alleging he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy more than 30 times from April to October 2002.
He then accepted the life-means-life sentence mandated by state law for repeat sex offenses against children.
"It took me five years to get to this point, your honor," Outland replied at one point. "I thought about it quite a bit."
He revealed the third assault in a letter to a relative in July and confirmed the account when interviewed by police.
A friend in the courtroom said Outland came forward so the boy could get counseling, and he pleaded guilty so the boy would not have to testify.
The boy, now 16, had initially denied the assaults occurred when contacted by police, but then acknowledged them when shown Outland's written confession, police said.
Outland would have been eligible for release as early as 2011 on his previous convictions.
He was serving time in the Oshkosh Correctional Institution for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl he was baby-sitting in February 1993 and molesting another girl repeatedly over a two-year span, beginning in September 2000 when she was 8 years old.
Wisconsin has had a "two strikes" law since 1998 providing that anyone convicted a second time of a serious child sex offense can get a life prison term. But District Attorney Joe DeCecco said he didn't seek that sentence when Outland got his second conviction because he didn't want to go to trial based solely on accounts of such a young victim.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)