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Former Racine mayor faces 25 years in prison

RACINE - Former Racine Mayor Gary Becker faces up to 25 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty yesterday to two charges connected with an Internet sex sting.

Six other counts were dropped in a plea bargain. Racine County District Attorney Michael Nieskes says he'll recommend jail-or-prison time, but he wouldn't say how much. He said the plea deal was appropriate, and it protects the community's interests.

Becker was arrested last January for arranging on-line to have sex with whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl - but was actually an agent with the state Internet Crimes Task Force. They started investigating Becker after he asked a city worker to fix his personal computer, and the employee found child pornography. Three of the dismissed charges alleged that Becker possessed child porn.

The 52-year-old Becker resigned as Racine's mayor soon after he was arrested. He later got divorced - and he entered a treatment center in Pennsylvania for compulsive sex-related behavior.