Assault on girl nets life sentence

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
— Life in prison without parole was ordered Wednesday for a Lafayette Township man convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl he knows.

In July, a 12-person Walworth County jury found Leon L. Laudie, 45, guilty of 20 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of sexual assault of a child younger than 13.

District Attorney Phil Koss asked that Laudie be sentenced to life in prison, and Judge James Carlson obliged.

"Clearly, this is a person who needs that," Koss said. "He has not been able to control himself."

Laudie is a registered sex offender and has been convicted of touching five girls between the ages of 4 and 8 between 1982 and 1991.

After the July trial, the victim's mother said she is glad to know Laudie will be unable to assault other children.

"It feels great because I did it for my little girl," she said.

During the trial, defense attorney Donna Kuchler said the victim was an unreliable source of information. Kuchler said the defendant's son could have been the one to assault the girl because she called both by a common name.

Koss disagreed. Despite her young age, the victim looked at pictures of both men and pointed to the one who took pictures of her and touched her, he said.

"Every statement in there is somehow corroborated," Koss said.

During her statement, the victim mentioned going to the defendant's house to get eggs with her grandmother. She recollected seeing a cat and how she felt sick that weekend, information later confirmed by other witnesses.

"She knows about the eggs, she knows about getting sick, she knows about the kitties," Koss said. "And we're going to say she's confused? That she doesn't know who assaulted her?"

A search of Laudie's computer revealed 20 pictures of the victim, according to court documents. Some of the pictures show her without clothing, and at least one shows the defendant without his pants.

The case was first reported after the child's mother pinched the child's buttocks as a way to cheer up the girl because she had been sick that day.

The mother reported the girl said, Laudie "takes pictures of my butt."

In a later interview with a Walworth County social worker and a sheriff's detective, the girl identified both her vaginal and buttocks areas as her butt.

Last updated: 11:18 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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