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Rackow gets nine months in jail
MONROE - A Juda man found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in a Juda residence was sentenced Thursday to nine months in jail and four years of probation.

James E. Rackow, 49, was charged with a Class G felony charge of third-degree sexual assault and misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct and was found guilty due to no contest pleas to all three charges in December.

Green County Circuit Judge Thomas Vale handed down a more severe sentence than the sentence of six months in jail and three years of probation that both the prosecution and defense recommended, saying he felt a longer sentence was reasonable given Rackow's offense.

"Everything in this courtroom is your fault," Vale said.

Rackow was accused of sexually assaulting a woman too intoxicated to offer consent or resistance after a house party at a Juda residence on Aug. 31, 2014. Rackow returned to the residence without permission after the other party guests had left in order to retrieve a personal item. A witness said he found Rackow performing sex acts on the unresponsive victim.

At his sentencing hearing, Rackow's attorney, Jonas Bednarek, said Rackow was at low risk for re-offending, citing his efforts in continuing the success of his business, Rackow's Family Sausage, as well as the presence of his family at the hearing. Rackow was supported by nearly 20 friends and family members at the sentencing.

Bednarek said that Rackow made "a really lousy decision" while intoxicated that he would likely never repeat.

"If you remove alcohol from the situation, nobody would be in this courtroom today," Bednarek said.

Green County District Attorney Gary Luhman pointed out that Rackow cannot use alcohol to justify his actions, nor should the court treat the victim's abuse of alcohol as a mitigating factor for her own rape.

"Being sexually assaulted is not one of the penalties of drinking to excess," Luhman said.

The victim did not testify at the hearing, although Rackow said he was sorry for making her "feel the way she does." He went on to say that he lost the support of friends and family and would work hard to rebuild the trust of his community.

Vale accepted a recommendation that Rackow's jail sentence come with extended work release privileges of up to 15 hours per day. Rackow's jail sentence will begin March 10.

Rackow was also ordered to register as a sex offender in the state of Wisconsin.

Vale also ordered Rackow to pay $215 of restitution to the victim.