Weather Forecast


Sex offender of child loses second appeal

A district court has denied the appeal of a convicted River Falls sex offender who got a longer prison sentence after successfully challenging his original sentence.

In a decision released Dec. 7, the District III Court of Appeals also upheld a Pierce County judge's requirement that Mark Allan Campbell, 39, have no contact with a boy until Campbell has completed sex offender treatment.

Campbell -- who was first charged with incest, exposing a child to harmful material and causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity -- was convicted in November 2007 of one count of first degree sexual assault of a child.

Under a plea agreement, Campbell pled guilty to the one charge, and prosecutors agreed to dismiss the others.

According to online court records, Campbell is now an inmate at a medium-security prison in New Lisbon.

Campbell, who then lived in an apartment in River Falls, was accused of repeatedly raping a 10-year-old girl, sometimes when a younger boy was in the room.

In February 2008 prosecutors recommended a sentence of 20 years with the first five-seven years in prison. But Judge Robert Wing sentenced Campbell to 30 years in prison followed by 10 years of extended supervision.

The appeals court reversed that sentence, finding that while Judge Wing's sentencing analysis was "considered and thoughtful," he had neither considered applicable sentencing guidelines nor mentioned them in court.

When Campbell was sent back for resentencing, Judge Robert Duvall imposed a 44-year sentence, including 34 years in prison followed by 10 years of extended supervision.

During this second appeal, Campbell claimed District Attorney John O'Boyle breached their plea agreement by failing to recommend a prison term of no more than five-seven years.

He also argued that the DA's statements at the resentencing hearing undermined the original recommendation by implying Campbell deserved a longer sentence.

Campbell then asked to withdraw his original guilty plea or that he be sentenced by another judge. He also claimed Judge Duvall didn't have the authority to impose the no-contact order.

While the appeals court found that O'Boyle "forgot to mention" that the original recommendation was for only five-seven years in prison, he correctly said the state was recommending a 20-year sentence. And the defense attorney clarified O'Boyle's omission.

"There is no requirement that a plea agreement be presented to the court in any particular way," according to the appeals court panel. "It may be presented by the prosecutor, or by the defense, or by both. Here, the parties, in combination, accurately informed the court of the plea agreement terms."

Besides the record shows Judge Duvall was well aware of the plea agreement terms.

Campbell also objected to some of O'Boyle's remarks, claiming they undermined the sentence recommendation.

In particular the DA commented on the seriousness of the offense, saying, "I can't think of a more, short of a homicide or physically injuring a child, a more horrific offense and more damaging offense committed against (a child)." O'Boyle also said Campbell showed "absolutely no remorse," "no empathy" and "no accountability for his behavior."

Still, said the appeals court, O'Boyle didn't step over a "fine line" when he argued for a 20-year sentence.

The appeals court also found that the no-contact order is appropriate.

"The potential harm associated with observing Campbell's sexual misconduct is sufficient to make (the boy) a victim of the crime (under Wisconsin law)," wrote the appeals judges. "Furthermore, we agree with the circuit court that, by allowing (the boy) to witness the sexual assaults, Campbell put (the boy) at risk of 'modeling' this behavior and growing up to become sexually abusive."

The appeals court concluded that because the county judge "could reasonably conclude" the boy was also a victim of Campbell's crime, Duvall had the legal authority to impose the no-contact provision both while Campbell is in prison and afterwards.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.