Mother, state senator speak out about short sentence for teen convicted of molesting 5-year-old

CREATED Jan 24, 2013

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SUSSEX - A Sussex teen is sentenced for molesting a family member, but the victim’s parents want more done.

"There is no greater pain than having to tell your child it will be okay, and having you know it is not," said the victim's mother.

This mother, whose identity we’re hiding to protect her daughter, told a Washington County judge Daniel Koepke murdered her daughter's innocence when he molested her last summer. Her daughter was five years old at the time.

"Now she colors herself crying," she said. "She colors raindrops and her pictures include big black x's over her private areas."

The judge sentenced Koepke to 22 months behind bars. That will make him 20 when he's released.

"I think in all fairness, under the facts of this case, to deprive him of the balance of his teenage years is appropriate," said Judge Andrew T. Gonring with Washington County.

But the victim's mother wants more. She's asking for legislation to be introduced that would mean a five year mandatory minimum for a conviction on child molestation. State Senator Glenn Grothman was in the courtroom to support the family. And they want support to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We plead not to let this happen to another little girl," said the mother. "No one should have to go through the pain that Mr. Koepke has inflicted.”

Koepke's mother also made a tearful plea in court. After Koepke is released, he'll be on extended supervision and probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender.