WAUSAU (WAOW) - A former Langlade County deputy sheriff was convicted Monday of second-degree sexual assault of a child in return for 21 other felonies being dismissed, attorneys said.
Michael Brayton, 26, of Gleason was convicted in a plea deal, said his attorney Henry Schultz.
The special prosecutor for the case, Marathon County Assistant District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon, said she agreed to the deal in part because of a recent a state appeals court ruling. Marathon County Circuit Judge Michael Moran is presiding over the case.
Brayton was charged in July 2012 with 22 felonies, including sexual assault of a child, child enticement and exposing genitals in incidents in the Elcho area with four girls ages 15 to 18, authorities said.
Brayton was employed as a Langlade County deputy from July 2008 until June 11, 2012, when he resigned, authorities said. Sheriff Bill Greening has said none of the alleged crimes happened while Brayton was on duty.
Wetzsteon said Brayton's conviction involves the 15-year-old girl in which there was sexual contact.
In the charges involving the other three girls, Brayton was accused of sending pictures of his genitals in text messages, Wetzsteon said.
A recent state appeals court decision involving a Kenosha County case determined that sending a picture of genitals to a child is not “exposing” them as required for the law, the prosecutor said.
“There could have been other charges pursued but given his plea to the 40-year felony, it didn't get that far,” Wetzsteon said.
The maximum punishment for second-degree sexual assault of a child is 40 years in prison.
According to Schultz, the plea agreement includes no sentencing recommendations for Brayton, allowing attorneys to argue what they believe is appropriate.
Schultz and Wetzsteon declined comment on what they will recommend when Brayton is sentenced in April 11.