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Sentencing – Review — Harsh & Excessive – Sexual Assault

State v. Germaine M. Taylor, 2006 WI 22, affirming unpublished summary order
For Taylor: Martha K. Askins, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding: TIS sentence of 18 years (12 in, 6 out) for child sexual assault, consecutive to 5 year indeterminate sentence for similar offense, was not harsh and excessive, notwithstanding PSI recommendation of 12 years (6 in, 6 out), nonviolent nature of act, and closeness of victim to age of consent:

¶35 Although we recognize the accuracy of many of Taylor’s assertions, we are not persuaded that in light of all the facts and circumstances of this case, the circuit court erroneously exercised its discretion under the formidable standard

.…

¶42 … In the court’s view, an extended period of incarceration was necessary to protect young girls from Taylor’s sexual behavior and his disregard for the rule of law.

¶43 We believe the court clearly considered the nature of the offense, the character of the defendant, and the protection of the public. Taylor recognizes the court’s legitimate concern about protecting the public, but he essentially contends the court relied too heavily on this factor and gave too little weight to the other primary factors and the specific considerations described above. We do not dispute the relative weight given by the trial court to its concerns about the safety of the public. As we have recognized, however, “[g]iving consideration to various relevant factors does involve a weighing and balancing operation, but the weight to be given a particular factor in a particular case is for the trial court, not this court, to determine.”Cunningham v. State, 76 Wis. 2d 277, 282, 251 N.W.2d 65 (1977); accord Schreiber, 251 Wis. 2d 690, ¶8. Furthermore, “a sentence can be imposed which considers all relevant factors but which is based primarily on the gravity of the crime or the need to protect society.” Cunningham, 76 Wis. 2d at 283.

 

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