|McCormick (click for larger version)|
October 15, 2013 | 03:22 PMELKHORN — A 37-year-old woman who had sex with two 15-year-old boys last September in her Sharon apartment will spend the next three years on probation.
Rachael A. McCormick, now 38 and of East Troy, was also sentenced to six months in jail with work-release privileges, and she will have to register as a sex offender for the next 15 years.
McCormick was initially charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 16, Class C felonies each punishable by 40 years imprisonment. However, through a plea agreement, the charges were reduced to two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sexual assaults and two felony charges of exposing a child to harmful materials, both Class I felonies that are punishable by up to 3 1/2 years imprisonment each.
On Sept. 29, 2012, which was the night of the high school’s homecoming dance, four juvenile boys were at McCormick’s home. McCormick began consuming raspberry vodka and Jagermeister, and by her account and witness accounts, she became intoxicated.
A 15-year-old boy asked McCormick for alcohol, which she provided, according to Assistant District Attorney T.C. Makaya. Makaya said McCormick made sexual advances on one of the children, but that boy refused her advances. Eventually, McCormick and one of the 15-year-olds went into a bedroom and had sex. That same night McCormick had sex with another 15-year-old boy.
“She is 37 years old and more than twice the age of all those involved,” Makaya said.
Makaya said the boys at the home weren’t mature — after one of the children passed out the others squirted ketchup onto him — and McCormick took advantage of the children.
McCormick’s attorney, Joshua Klaff, said McCormick was overmedicated at the time of the incident, and friends and family reported that she was in a “zombie-like state” the days before it. McCormick initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to the charges because she was under the influence of prescription medication.
“She mixed alcohol with her medication and things got out of control,” Klaff said. “She was passing out left and right and then things really got out of control.”
During the hearing, Makaya said that legally the gender of the defendant shouldn’t have an effect on the case.
“We know this would be looked at in a completely different light if it was a 37-year-old man having sex with a 15-year-old girl,” Makaya said.
As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution couldn’t make a recommendation on the length of sentence. A presentence investigation (PSI) — which is a report generated by the Department of Corrections that examines the Crime and the defendant’s criminal history — recommended a three year probation sentence.
“No one is asking for prison. Not the state, not the PSI and certainly not the defense,” Klaff said.
One of the victims in the case asked for McCormick to receive probation and treatment. That victim’s parent also suggested probation, and told the PSI writer that McCormick “suffered enough embarrassment and that she will suffer for the rest of her life for this.”
During McCormick’s interview with the PSI writer, she admitted that while in jail — as the charges were pending — she fantasized about having sex with strangers and sadomasochism. Fetish magazines were also located in her home, Makaya said. Makaya argued that the “sexually-deviant behavior” was another aggravating factor in the case.
“Fetish behavior is legal,” Klaff said. He argued that McCormick shouldn’t be punished more because she answered the PSI writer’s questions honestly.
Makaya said McCormick also was having a sexual relationship with a 19-year-old man at the time of her arrest.
“I think it is indicative to the point that she has the propensity to target younger, less mature people.”
Prior to the sentencing hearing, McCormick had spent 268 days in the county jail. In the event her probation is revoked and she is sent to prison, the time served in the jail will count toward that sentence.
Before sentencing McCormick, Judge Philip Koss called the night of McCormick drinking with four young boys a “recipe for disaster.”
“She was clearly taking advantage of the situation that presented itself,” Koss said.
Koss said he agreed with Makaya that sexual assault cases should be looked at the same whether the defendant is male or female.
However, he also pointed out that McCormick didn’t plead guilty to the more serious Class C felonies.
Sharon Police Chief Brad Buchholz also attended the sentencing hearing. He said in the village of Sharon his officers don’t have to investigate many child sexual assault cases.
“Our officers stepped up to face the challenge,” he said. “I think they did that extremely well.”