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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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LaVigne Sentenced To 5-Year Prison Term For Sex Assault

Issue Date: January 17, 2020

Jason R. LaVigne, 47, of Appleton, a former high school teacher in Fox Valley area, will be spending the next 10 years in prison followed by 16 years on extended supervision after being convicted of sexual assaults on two teenage girls following jury trials in Marinette and Outagamie County Circuit courts.

His sentence by Judge James Morrison in Marinette County Circuit Court was for five years in prison followed by 5 years of extended supervision, consecutive to the sentence for the Outagamie County conviction.

That conviction was for incidents that happened in Outagamie County nearly 20 years ago. The sentence in April, following conviction by a 12-member Jury, was also for five years in prison followed by 11 years of extended supervision.

The Marinette County conviction was for assault on a 16-year-old girl who was a guest of LaVigne's daughter at the family's cottage in the Town of Stephenson on June 2, 2018. Following a 3-day trial that ended on Thursday, Sept. 19 the jury returned with a verdict of guilty on a count of third degree sexual assault.

In handing down his sentence for that conviction on Friday, Jan. 10, Judge James A. Morrison acknowledged the many letters of support for LaVigne, but told him, "Not once, but twice, 12 citizens (the jury), who had absolutely no dog in the fight made the decision that you committed heinous crimes...I have the obligation in this case to accept the jury's verdict. I have no problem accepting that verdict....He is a man who has been found guilty of having sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old child."

Morrison said the letters of support describing LaVigne were a concern because hundreds of people had been let down. He said sexual predators take advantage of children because they are in relationships of trust, and added, "That's why this is so evil and so pernicious."

In addition to the letters of support, LaVigne was defended in the courtroom by his wife, Nicole, and his daughter. Nicole LaVigne asked the judge for leniency, describing him as a great husband and father. She called on the victim to "tell the truth."

LaVigne, in an address that lasted about 10 minutes, apologized to his family, bashed the victim and did not apologize to her, and said his only mistake was providing alcohol to minors.

In his comments prior to handing down his sentence, Judge Morrison told the victim, "....You are not the cause of this...You did not do this. You shouldn't have been using pot. You shouldn't have been drinking...But you did not invite this man to rape you. This is not your fault."

The victim, who was in the courtroom with her mother, had described some of the emotional issues she had dealt with since the attack.

Marinette County Assistant District Attorney Cody Marschall asked for the maximum sentence, which would have been for 10 years, to run consecutive to the Outagamie County penalty. He referred to other allegations that had been brought against LaVigne involving improper conduct with young girls, and described it as a pattern, and him as "a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Defense Attorney, Kevin Musolf of Appleton, asked that his client be sentenced to probation.

By Wisconsin law, third-degree sexual assault is a Class G felony that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine.

LaVigne was arrested on Wednesday, June 3, 2018 after allegedly assaulting his daughter's 16-year-old friend the previous day during a pontoon boat ride while she was a guest at the LaVigne family cabin at N9863 Penny Lane on High Falls Flowage in the Town of Stephenson.

Among those who testified at the trial were the victim, who had been a friend of LaVigne's daughter at the time and was a guest at the cottage. Her name is withheld in accord with Wisconsin law. Both the victim and the daughter testified during the trial that they are no longer friends.

After the assault the victim had been picked up by her mother at the LaVigne driveway and taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay for a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Exam).

At the time of his trial in Marinette County LaVigne was already serving a prison term on an unrelated count of sexual abuse of a child for which he was convicted after a three-day jury trial before Judge Vincent Biskupic in April in Outagamie County. The jury there found Lavigne guilty of repeated sexual assault of a child in connection with a series of incidents that took place nearly two decades ago when the victim was a freshman at Little Chute High School. On June 25, Lavigne had been sentenced by Biskupic to 5 years in prison and 11 years of extended supervision.

That case came to light after Marinette County investigators looking into the assault in the Town of Stephenson contacted Fox Valley Metro Police. Their inquiries led police to LaVigne's school personnel file, where they found information that a student had accused LaVigne of rubbing his genitals against her numerous times in a keyboarding class she took as a freshman at Little Chute High School in 2000. A follow-up investigation led to LaVigne's arrest and conviction for those offenses. He will complete his 5-year prison sentence for that count before starting his 5-year sentence for the Marinette County conviction.

At the Marinette County trial LaVigne admitted to serving the girls drinks (vodka and lemonade) while they were on the pontoon boat. He said his daughter was napping and he had been napping in his captain's chair when he woke to find the girl on top of him, kissing him and asking him to have sex with her. After the pontoon returned to shore the girl called her mother and waited at the end of the driveway until she arrived.

At the trial Lavigne's daughter testified she had awakened to see the alleged victim on top of her father, without her bikini bottoms on, but had turned over and pretended to still be asleep and then later let them know she was awake.

At the sentencing, LaVigne's daughter spoke on behalf of her father, and said her life is empty without her dad.


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