By Shereen Siewert
A Marion man who prosecutors say is a serial sex offender was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison for assaulting a teenager in July 2012, the first conviction and sentencing to result from the testing of backlogged sexual assault kits in Wisconsin.
Leroy R. Whittenberger, 51, of Marion, was convicted in August of three counts of second-degree sexual assault, according to court records. Waupaca County Circuit Judge Troy L. Nielsen also ordered Whittenberger to spend 15 years on extended supervision following his release from prison.
Whittenberger will also be subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender.
The victim’s sexual assault kit was tested as part of the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) in 2017. This is the first conviction and sentencing to result from the testing of backlogged sexual assault kits in Wisconsin, according to Attorney General Josh Kaul.
“As a result of this prosecution, a serial sex offender will be in prison for a long time,” Kaul said. “Thank you to many people who worked to get justice in this case.”
This case was the result of joint effort by civilian witnesses, New London Police Department, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory DNA Analyst Kara Raymond, and the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Amber Hahn and Noel Lawrence, with assistance from legal associate Tiffany Briggs, paralegals Jackie Righter and Rachael Sweet, in partnership with the Waupaca County District Attorney’s Office.
Whittenberger is a serial sexual offender and has three prior sexual assault convictions from Lincoln and Marathon counties, Kaul said.
For survivors looking for information about their kit, contact the law enforcement agency where the assault was reported, a local sexual assault service provider, or the DOJ Office of Crime Victim Services at 1-800-446-6564.