By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — A former taxicab driver who drugged and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl on multiple occasions will spend at least 15 years in prison, following his sentencing this week in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Peter Buntrock, 48, was convicted June 7 by a jury of all 11 charges he faced: four counts of second degree sexual assault of a child, two counts of exposing genitals to a child, and single charges of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of child pornography and exposing a child to harmful material. The charges were filed in two separate cases in May 2016 and in July 2016 in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Following a pre-sentencing investigation, Buntrock on Thursday learned his fate. At his sentencing hearing, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser ordered Buntrock to spend 25 years in the Wisconsin Prison System with extended supervision eligibility after 17 years. With 727 days credit for time served awaiting trial, that means Buntrock will be released into the community in 2033, when he is 63 years old. If he fails to follow the rules of his release, he will be ordered to spend another eight years in prison.

Buntrock faced similar charges in Lincoln County until those charges were transferred to Marathon County.

An investigation began in May 2016 when the victim’s mother discovered sexually explicit text messages between Buntrock and her daughter, took screen shots of the messages and turned them over to police. The girl told police Buntrock sexually assaulted her multiple times in both Lincoln and Marathon County.

When police searched Buntrock’s home, they discovered cocaine and marijuana, along with nude photos of the girl that were stored on his phone, court documents state.

Months after his arrest, Buntrock reportedly wrote several letters making threats to the victim and her family members, resulting in additional charges in Lincoln County. As a result of those letters, Buntrock’s bond amount was increased from $50,000 cash to $100,000 cash. Two counts of attempting to intimidate a victim were dismissed when the case was transferred to Marathon County.

Buntrock, who was a principal in the former Metro Cab Company in Wausau, has a prior criminal record for negligent operation of a motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia and three drunken driving convictions, court records show.

On Thursday, Strasser ruled that Buntrock must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and have no contact with the victim or her family. A restitution hearing will be set at a later date.