February 8, 2021
Dee Hölzel
Journal Times

RACINE — A man who was convicted at trial of seven counts of sex crimes against children will not see the light of day again for decades.
Danny Obuchowski, 28, will serve at least 40 years in prison after being found guilty at trial in September 2020.
During the trial, a number of the defendant’s relatives testified that he had assaulted them when they were children.
Racine County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Boyle handed down the sentence on Monday.
The Racine County District Attorney’s Office was represented by Brian Van Schyndel. Grant Henderson, of the Wisconsin Public Defender’s Office, represented the defendant.
Van Schyndel requested the harshest penalty on behalf of the victims, who were just children when they were victimized by the defendant.
“What is clear is the harm done to them by the defendant is immeasurable,” he told the court. “What the defendant took from them is inconceivable.”
Van Schyndel also noted Obuchowski represented exactly the kind of dangerous offender the community demanded protection from — and the Wisconsin Legislature agreed, crafting sentencing minimums that would put him in prison for a long time.
The nature of the crimes, and the ages of the young victims, demonstrated the defendant was “unfit for any but a confined setting,” Van Schyndel said.
He asked the court to sentence the defendant to consecutive sentences, rather than concurrent, so that he was serving a portion of his prison sentence for each victim.
The minimum consecutive sentence would put the defendant in prison for 60 years.
The defense, in contrast, sought a minimal sentence of 25 years.
Henderson pointed out if the defendant was released on a Chapter 980 supervised release, he would be monitored every minute of his life by a GPS ankle bracelet.
Originally enacted in 1994, the Chapter 980 legislation is also called the “sexually violent person commitments” or the “sexual predator law.”
“He would be on a very short leash,” Henderson said.
Henderson told the court that his client began sexually assaulting other children before he was 10 years old.
In fact, he continued, Obuchowski’s acts were an open secret in the family.
However, no one talked to him or sought mental health help for his actions.
Since that time, Henderson continued, the defendant has begun to better understand the trauma he inflicted on others.
Obuchowski, himself, was exposed too early to sex, which caused trauma for which he was never treated.
To demonstrate the level of his client’s problems, his attorney noted when Obuchowski is scared or nervous, he hides under his blankets like a small child.
Henderson described the defendant as a basically decent person who simply did not get the help he needed early enough.
‘The state is asking for something that would essentially end his life in prison,” Henderson said. “A sentence that long, while not a death sentence, he would likely never make it out.”
The defendant
Obuchowski did not refute the things that were said of him.
“He is correct in a way,” he said of the assistant district attorney. “I did some really bad things as a child.”
Although he admitted to sex acts against children, Obuchowski denied committing any criminal sex acts since he turned 18 years old and denied one of the sexual assault charges, arguing that was consensual.
He asked the court to stay his sentence and commit him to the Chapter 980 program so he could pursue mental health treatment.
Boyle referenced the letters he received from the victims in the case, noting they had asked for the maximum sentence.
He declined the defendant’s request for stay of sentence, saying “you already have identified that you’re a potential threat to the public.”
On the first five counts, the defendant was sentenced to concurrent terms: for attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child 10 years in prison and seven years supervised release; for repeated sexual assault of a child 15 years in prison and 10 years supervised release; two counts of incest with a child 10 years in prison and seven years supervised release; first-degree sexual assault of a child 15 years in prison and 10 years supervised release.
For counts six and seven, repeated sexual assault of the same child and first-degree sexual assault of a child under 12 years old, the defendant was sentenced to 25 years in prison and 15 years of supervised release.
Counts six and seven will be served consecutive to counts 1-5.

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