Theodore K. Sanderfoot, 47, of New London.

By Shereen Siewert, Wausau Pilot and Review

A 47-year-old man who contacted a teenage girl to arrange a sexual encounter was convicted Thursday in Marathon County Circuit Court and will be sentenced in February.

Theodore Sanderfoot, of New London, was charged in May with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and soliciting an intimate representation of a minor. Sanderfoot, who has two prior related convictions, was ordered held on a $1 million cash bond while awaiting trial.

Online court records show Sanderfoot was convicted twice before of related charges. In 1991, Sanderfoot was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child. A child enticement conviction followed in 2001, according to online court records.

Sanderfoot was initially charged as a persistent repeater, which is akin to a three-strikes and you’re out law. This applies to suspects charged with serious child sex offenses or serious felonies.

A person is considered a persistent repeater if he’s been convicted of a serious felony on two or more separate occasions at any time preceding the serious felony for which he is presently charged, or convicted of a serious child sex offense on at least one prior occasion preceding the serious felony for which he is charged.

If the person is a persistent repeater, the term of imprisonment for the present offense is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or extended supervision.

But Sanderfoot negotiated a plea agreement and on Thursday was convicted solely of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime. The solicitation charge was dismissed but read into the record, and prosecutors agreed to drop the “persistent repeater” enhancer.

During a a plea hearing Circuit Judge Greg Strasser ordered a pre-sentencing investigation report, which is due by Feb. 5. Sanderfoot, who remains jailed, will be sentenced Feb. 24.