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October 22, 2019

10/3/2019 7:28:00 AM
Woodruff man draws prison sentence in online child sex sting case
River News Staff

A 21-year-old Woodruff man will spend approximately four-and-a-half years in prison after pleading no contest Tuesday to a felony charge stemming from using a computer to arrange a sexual encounter with an undercover sheriff's detective posing as a 15-year-old female.

Bradley A. Hilmer was charged May 8 with attempted sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.

According to the complaint, Hilmer responded to an online ad posted by an undercover Oneida County detective posing as a 15-year-old girl named Riley.

Eventually, the conversation between the person believed to be Hilmer and the undercover detective moved from an online application to text messaging via cellphone, the complaint states.

Throughout the conversation, the undercover officer represented himself as a 15-year-old female from Three Lakes and noted that "she" does not drive, the complaint states. The officer also provided a photo of a female after the person believed to be Hilmer requested an image.

According to a transcript of the conversation included in the complaint, after receiving the photo, Hilmer complimented "Riley" and began asking if they could meet to engage in certain sexual acts.

At certain points in the conversation, the person believed to be Hilmer tells "Riley" that he "got into trouble before," was on probation and doesn't want to go to jail. In addition to asking for a photo, on at least one occasion he called the phone number the undercover officer was using, presumably to check if a female would answer, the complaint states.

A female officer took the calls and advised Hilmer that she could not talk because her mother was nearby.

Eventually, the undercover officer and the person believed to be Hilmer arranged to meet in Three Lakes to have sex, but Hilmer was later forced to cancel due to transportation issues.

Approximately 10 days later the undercover officer used the same "Riley' persona on a social media application and a person believed to be Hilmer responded. Eventually, the two discussed meeting at a location in Minocqua to have sex. 

Finally, on the evening of May 6, officers arrested Hilmer outside a Minocqua area convenience store. He had arrived on a bicycle and was carrying a backpack containing condoms.

In an interview with investigators, Hilmer stated he understands it's wrong to meet a 15-year-old for sex but believes he may suffer from sex addiction.

According to court records, Hilmer completed a three-year probation sentence this spring related to a 2016 conviction on two counts of sending obscene email messages. In that case, Hilmer was accused of transmitting inappropriate photos to minor females and attempting to arrange to meet them in secluded areas for sex.

Hilmer waived his right to a preliminary hearing May 14 and entered not guilty pleas June 3. On Tuesday, Hilmer's attorney Mary Roth Burns and assistant district attorney Jillian Pfeifer advised Judge Michael Bloom that the two sides had reached an agreement. Pfeifer moved to dismiss but read in the attempted second degree sexual assault charge in exchange for a guilty or no contest plea to the second, according to online court records.

Both charges are class C felonies, with a maximum sentence of 40 years and a $100,000 fine. Bloom sentenced Hilmer to 10 years in the Wisconsin Prison System, with 5 years of initial incarceration and 5 years extended supervision, with 148 days jail credit.

He will also have to register as a sex offender upon release from prison.

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