Janesville43.3°

Edgerton man sentenced for child enticement

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AMES, ANN MARIE
October 24, 2012

— The little girl was trying to understand what had happened and what the grownups meant when they said it wasn't her fault.

Her mom told her it was the man's fault and that what he had done was wrong.

"How wrong was he?" the 7-year-old asked.

"He was the worst wrong ever," her mom answered.

Judge Kenneth Forbeck agreed.

Forbeck on Tuesday sentenced Donald E. Jenson, 66, of 14 Maple Court, Edgerton, to 24 years in prison and 20 years of extended supervision on two counts of child enticement. Jenson pleaded guilty to those charges in August.

Dismissed but read into the record were charges of first-degree sexual assault of a child and repeated sexual assault of the same child.

According to the criminal complaint filed in February, Jenson assaulted two girls repeatedly between June 2011 and January 2012. The girls were 5 and 7 at the time. Jenson knows the girls and often cared for them when their parents were at work or social events, the parents said.

According to court documents, Jensen touched the girls with his hands and mouth. He made the girls do the same to him, according to the documents. He used sexual devices on them and himself. He took pictures of the girls and showed them a video of a child being assaulted, according to court documents.

The older girl eventually told her parents about the abuse, and the parents called police.

The sentence was nine years longer than the girls' parents asked for while reading statements to Forbeck. It was 14 years longer than Assistant District Attorney Richard Sullivan asked for.

Forbeck said that in many ways Jenson's actions were worse than homicide. The pain ends for a homicide victim, he said. The two girls will spend their lives coping with Jenson's assault, he said.

"I can get a handle on that. Families can come to terms with that. It is over with and done," Forbeck said about homicide. "You've got a live family here."

The girls' parents cried—as did many others in the courtroom—as they told Forbeck what has happened to the girls since the abuse. One father gripped a plastic water bottle with trembling hands while his wife read a statement to the judge.

The Gazette is not identifying the parents to protect the identity of the victims.

Both girls have nightmares; one screams in her sleep and started wetting the bed for the first time in her life, her mom said.

One girl panics when she hears the word "secret." Even when someone is talking about a fun secret surprise for a loved one, the girl remembers only that Jensen told her the things he did were a "secret."

The girls are afraid of cameras and cellphones, their parents said. One curls up in a ball at the mention of his name. One told her dad he was "too late" to protect her.

The now 6-year-old girl looked up to Jenson so much that she doesn't think she's safe even while he's in jail, she told her dad.

"She said, ‘But he's (Jenson),'" the dad read. "The police can't stop him."

The girls are in therapy and doing as well as can be expected, their parents said. They are going to have to revisit the incident again and again as they grow older and reach milestones, the parents said.

Jenson's actions will make the already difficult process of growing up even more so, they said.

"Because of what has happened," one dad said, "we don't know how (she) will handle health class, her first date or her first kiss."



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