Merrill man sentenced to 20-years in federal prison in child sexual assault case
A 60-year old Merrill man will spend the next 20-years in federal prison after being convicted of charges related to the repeated sexual assault of a child.
According to a press release issued Monday afternoon, July 27, by the United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin; on July 23, 2020, Brian D. Wickersham of Merrill. was sentenced to 20-years in federal prison by Senior District Judge William C. Griesbach.
Wickersham, a long haul truck driver, took his victim with him on a four-day trip from Wisconsin to Virginia and back. During the trip, Wickersham provided the victim with money and gifts; in the evenings, Wickersham sexually assaulted the child and pressured him to engage in increasingly aggressive sexual acts. The trip ended at the “Country Express” truck stop in Bellevue, Wisconsin, on the outskirts of the City of Green Bay. While Wickersham and his victim awaited a replacement driver, Wickersham attempted to violate the child a final time. The victim fled the truck and sought assistance inside the truck stop’s restaurant. Brown County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived to protect the child and located Wickersham hiding at a nearby hotel where he was taken into custody.
In 1994, Wickersham was convicted of “First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child” in Milwaukee County Circuit Court for the repeated sexual assault of a four-year-old child. At that time, he was required to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life. In 2008, Wickersham was convicted of “Sex Registry Violations” in Taylor County Circuit Court for repeated unsupervised contact with minor children and lying to investigators. In 2016, Wickershamwas again convicted in Taylor County for “Knowingly Failing to Notify School Officials of Sex Offender Status.”
In handing down the sentence, Judge Griesbach noted the horrendous nature of the crime and previous pattern of preying on children. He further stated his belief that a 20-year prison sentence was lengthy enough to protect the community given Wickersham’s advanced age. Upon the completion of his federal prison sentence, the defendant will serve the remainder of his life on supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the Brown County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and the Green Bay office of the F.B.I. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel R. Humble and Megan J. Paulson.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006, by the U.S. Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.