A 37-year-old Minocqua man was sentenced last month to 15 years in prison after pleading no contest to one count of second degree sexual assault of a child. Ryan T. Boze entered his plea to the Class C felony on Sept. 15, after the results of the second of two evaluations showed that he was competent for legal proceedings. Pursuant to a plea agreement, assistant Oneida County district attorney Jillian Pfeifer agreed to ask for a sentence of no longer than 8 years in prison while defense attorney Brian Bennett was free to argue for a shorter term.
According to the criminal complaint, Boze admitted to having sexual contact with a 13-year-old.
The father of the victim addressed the court during the Nov. 4 sentencing hearing. He said his daughter has been changed forever.
""She struggles on a daily basis, and as parents, we miss being able to hug and hold our daughter without her pulling away or freezing at times," the father said. "It has been so painful to watch our daughter hurt and becoming inconsolable at times, turning to doctors, social workers, therapists and many different medications that help her."
He said the longer Boze remains in prison, "the safer our community will be."
Pfeifer started her sentencing presentation by noting the author of the pre-sentence investigation report recommended a longer prison term than she had agreed to as part of the plea agreement.
She also noted that Boze provided the victim with a cellphone and that the girl reported to a school counselor that "she had a boyfriend who was older."
"It was later discovered that there was a sexual assault that had occurred, at that time, the victim was 13 and the defendant was 36 years old," Pfeifer said.
Pfeifer also noted Boze was "hesitant to answer" some of the questions posed by the pre-sentence investigator.
"I think some of it has to do with mental health problems that have not appropriately been addressed, and social isolation, unemployment," Pfeifer added. "But all-in-all, that doesn't excuse what happened in this case."
Bennett agreed with the last part of Pfeifer's sentencing statement.
"This really does come down to the question of Mr. Boze's, Ryan's, mental health," Bennett said. "That is not denied by anyone who has had to deal with Ryan. When he is medicated, he's a good person. We've seen it in the PSI and both of the doctors' reports."
As a result of the conviction, Boze will be on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life, Bennett noted, adding that Boze will also receive intense sex offender treatment while in prison.
He urged Judge Patrick O'Melia to sentence his client to a shorter period of incarceration than Pfeifer suggested.
"We feel that because of the collateral consequences of this offense, that the court should craft a sentence for 3 or 4 years initial confinement followed by 3 or 4 years extended supervision," Bennett argued. "As far as the extended supervision, because of the sex offender registry, he really won't ever be off. He will always be monitored."
Boze declined to address the court on his own behalf.
In explaining his sentencing decision, O'Melia said he understands Boze has a mental health condition but noted that the record is clear that he knew that what he was doing was wrong.
"We have a serious crime here with serious ramifications," he said.
"I agree that it is a mental heath issue," he continued. "And prison is not the best place to treat mental illness, but it can be treated there. There are many prisoners in the system - male and female - who suffer not only from criminal activities, criminal thinking, they also have some degree of mental health issues."
"The public does have a right to be safe from people who have sexual intercourse with 13-year-old girls," he added.
O'Melia also noted that Boze has a prior record from another state where he served 7 years in prison.
He then sentenced Boze to 15 years initial confinement with 8 years extended supervision to follow. Boze will receive credit for 577 days already served.
A second case against Boze alleging lewd and lascivious behavior and resisting an officer, both class A misdemeanors, related to a Dec. 27, 2019 incident at the Oneida County jail, was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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