Zachary Richardson

SHELL LAKE– Zachary T. Richardson, 30, of Spooner has been sentenced to 35 years in prison and 25 on extended supervision for sex crimes against children that the judge called "abhorrent."

Ashland County Circuit Judge Kelly McKnight went beyond the sentence recommended by the Department of Corrections and also by the plea agreement reached between the defense and prosecutor, which had been concurrent sentences that together maxed out at 25 years in prison followed by 20 years on supervision.

Richardson was convicted of five crimes that occurred over two years against a pair of children who were 7 and one who was 11 when the crimes began: repeated sexual assault of the same child, first-degree sexual assault of a child (intercourse), second-degree sexual assault of a child, and two counts of possessing child pornography.

McKnight sentenced Richardson to 25 years incarceration and 15 years supervision for each of the repeated assault and first-degree assault charges, plus 15 in prison and 10 on supervision for each of the pornography charges. All of them will be served concurrently.

For the second-degree sexual assault of a child, McKnight set a 20-year sentence, split between prison and supervision, but ordered that it be served consecutively – in addition to the other sentences rather than at the same time.

The remainder of the 22 charges against Richardson were dismissed and read into the record for the judge to consider during sentencing. They included exposing children to harmful materials, exposing genitals to a child, child sexual exploitation (through videos, recordings, etc.), and additional child pornography possession.

Richardson will be listed on sex offender registry for his lifetime.

Details on the sentencing hearing and what the judge said during sentencing will be in the February 20 issue of the Spooner Advocate.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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