By Shereen Siewert

A 28-year-old Minocqua-area man will spend 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 2-year-old boy in 2013.

Brandon A. Darnick will also spend 15 years on extended release following his initial prison term. The charges against Darnick were filed as part of the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative in 2018 and was one of the first cases brought to trial as a result of those efforts.

In December, Darnick was found guilty by a jury of first degree sexual assault of a child younger than 13.

The child was 2 years old at the time of the assault. A nurse collected DNA evidence from the boy’s body, but the kit remained untested for four years.

“This case shows, once again, how important the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative is and how important it is that we continue working to strengthen Wisconsin’s response to sexual assault,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, in a news release. “Thank you to the many people whose work led to justice.”

Oneida County Circuit Judge Patrick F. O’Melia presided over Darnick’s sentencing.

The conviction was the result of a joint effort by civilian witnesses, Minocqua Police Department, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory, Sorenson Forensics, St. Claire’s Hospital, Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative team at the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), and DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation.

Victim services were provided by the DOJ Office of Crime Victim Services.

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, and support staff Nikole Kane and Julia Patz, in partnership with the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office.