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Sex offender will spend rest of life in prison



Mullis
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Mullis (click for larger version)
December 20, 2011 | 05:01 PM
ELKHORN — Theodore Mullis, 40, a convicted child molester, was already facing the prospect of not getting out from behind locked prison doors until he was well into his 80s.

On Friday, Walworth County threw away the key.

Walworth County Circuit Court Judge John Race sentenced Mullis to another 40 years in prison to be served after his first 44-year sentence is completed. Mullis is also ordered to pay more than $3,600 in restitution to the victim for counseling and care, although Race conceded there was little chance of Mullis ever paying that forfeiture.

The sentence was requested by Mullis' victim, who is now an adult. It was recommended by the Department of Corrections agent who wrote Mullis' presentence investigation report and that recommendation was reinforced by Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss.

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Mullis, who appeared in court with a chest-length beard, was wearing an orange prison jump suit and wrist and ankle restraints.

He occasionally looked over at the district attorney when Koss was speaking, and leaned to his left from time to time to listen to his attorney. Otherwise, Mullis said nothing and declined to say anything on his behalf when offered the chance by Race.

At the close of the hearing, his attorney, Valerian Powell of Elkhorn, requested his client be immediately transported back to Dodge County Correctional Institute, where his allergy medications are kept.

On March 12, 2010, a 27-year-old man reported to police that when he was 13 or 14 he was sexually assaulted by Mullis. He said this occurred at least three times in both Darien and Delavan. Mullis had been his mother's boyfriend at the time.

The assaults took place in Delavan and Darien in 1996 and 1997, according to the criminal complaint.

In October, a Walworth County jury found Mullis guilty of those assaults.

Mullis was already a registered sex offender serving a 44-year prison sentence at the Dodge Correctional Institute.

In taking presentencing statements from the victim, the victim's wife appeared before the court and read a letter from her husband. She said work commitments kept him from appearing in court.

In the letter, the victim said Mullis stole his faith in the world.

"Years ago, I was a child who had faith in this world. Mr. Mullis stole that faith from me," the victim's wife read. "He was a disgusting human being."

The victim wrote that he has struggled to regain that faith. He's served in the military, married and now has a family.

The victim's mother-in-law also spoke on her son-in-law's behalf.

"I know there is a special place in hell for those who prey on children," she said.

Koss said that although Mullis did not hurt the victim or use a weapon, the sexual assault was a devastating injury to the child.

"Sexual assault of a child is a Crime that scars the soul of a child," Koss said. Although Mullis' victim in Walworth County is grown, a veteran and a family man, he is still struggling with the sense of betrayal and shame brought on by Mullis assault, Koss said.

In arguing mitigation, Powell said Mullis never physically hurt his victim. He said the previous sentence of 44 years in Dodge County Circuit Court will protect the public from Mullis

Powell also pointed out that Mullis is hard of hearing and has problems with his memory, which were exacerbated by alcohol abuse and injuries he suffered in a car accident. Mullis left Elkhorn High School when he was in 10th grade because he was being harassed by students, Powell said. Years later, Mullis earned a GED.

Powell asked that Mullis' sentence be concurrent rather than consecutive.

It wasn't to be. Race said he remembered Mullis from a juvenile case in which Mullis was accused of assaulting a young girl by throwing her down on a bed and groping her. His record also includes arson and burglary, Race said.

"He has a series of Crimes of which he was convicted," Race said. "He has a history of undesireable acts."

While in the state prison in Waupun, Mullis was accused of sexually assaulting a cellmate. The case was not pursued by the district attorney there, but there was evidence the assault had occurred, Race said.

Race conceded Mullis' work record was a good one. While living in Door County, Mullis worked as a shipwright. The job requires skills, Race said.

"The defendant has ability. It's unfortunate that he didn't concentrate on that rather than sexual assaults," Race said.

Because the Crimes were committed before the state's truth in sentencing law, Race said he could not allow the possibility of Mullis getting probation at all.

"He's dangerous to the public, he's dangerous to children, he's dangerous to his cellmates," Race said before handing down sentence.

In Dodge County, Mullis was convicted of two counts of second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim, 10 counts of child sexploitation and three counts of possession of child pornography.

The sexploitation charge was for either recording or displaying a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

According to news reports from Sturgeon Bay, Mullis drugged a 16-year-old boy, assaulted him and photographed the attack.

In that case, 22 other counts of possession of child pornography and one count of causing a child to view sexual activity were dismissed but read into the record.

When Mullis was sentenced in Dodge County on Sept. 3, 2009, he also received an additional 26 years of extended supervision.

The Dodge County sentence placed Mullis on some form of supervision until 2079, at which time he would be 108 years old.

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