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London sentenced to 20 years in prison

Emotion was heavy Monday morning at the Pierce County Courthouse as those on both sides awaited the sentencing of Todd London.

London was found guilty in September on two counts of first degree sexual assault of a then-12-year-old child three years ago. The maximum he could face was 60 years in prison.

In arguing the state's case, Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle gave his recommendation based on three factors: the seriousness of the offense, the defendant's character and the need to protect the public.

He was pretty blunt when describing the first factor.

"I can't think of a more severe case of sexual assault in my 14 years here," he said.

He then talked more about London's character and the need to protect the public.

"There's two sides to Mr. London," O'Boyle said. "He has a facade to co-workers which enables him to maintain employment and why friends talk so highly of him. The other is his history of violence, which is directed toward members of his household."

In regard to protecting the public, O'Boyle believes London's not telling his employer about these charges was a serious mistake.

Therefore, he listed his belief a sentence of 16-20 years of confinement plus five years extended supervision was appropriate.

London's attorney, Aaron Nelson of Hudson, then spoke. His main point was the sexual assault is something that doesn't fit London's character.

"People that know him say that's out of character," Nelson said, referring to letters written by London's father, mother, friend, current wife and himself. "He understands and appreciates the seriousness of the charge. He shows remorse."

To debate another one of O'Boyle's points, Nelson said he was under no obligation to tell his employers about those crimes until he was found guilty.

Nelson also discussed treatment and that, no matter what program it's been, alcohol, domestic violence or drug, he's completed all of them.

"He's willing to complete any treatment," Nelson said. "I believe Mr. London is a good candidate for treatment and that treatment is still possible given the possible sentence."

Nelson's recommendation was five years confinement and 15 years extended supervision.

London then gave a short statement in which he expressed his apologies for committing the crime to the victim, who was in attendance, but refused to speak.

All that was left then was for the one person whose opinion mattered the most in the hearing--Judge Robert Wing--to speak.

Wing felt protecting the public wasn't the issue because the behavior he exhibited was toward people in his own house.

What Wing spoke the most vehemently about was London's character.

"Mr. Nelson indicates that this is out of character and I don't think so," he said. "It's not sporadic, but consistent...The extent of violence is great, aggravated violence."

Wing brought up the fact that, before the assault occurred, London struck the victim on the side of her head with his fist and he also was verbally and physically abusive to his then-wife the night of the assault.

"This is a Class B felony and the only thing worse is taking someone's life," Wing said. "The matter of punishment is extremely important."

As a result, Wing ordered that London will serve 20 years confinement and 10 years extended supervision for each count, which will run concurrently. He's not eligible for parole. He'll be 61 when his prison term is done.

London was also facing a marijuana and possession charge, along with battery and disorderly conduct charges. As a result of what happened Monday, the marijuana and possession charges were dropped, and he'll serve the time for battery and disorderly conduct along with the sexual assault.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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