COA affirms nearly 200-year sentence for sex offender

An Elkhart man will not get his 190-year sentence for numerous sexual misconduct and child molesting convictions reduced, the Court of Appeals of Indiana has ruled.

Appellate judges affirmed on Monday the hefty sentence handed to Robert Wilmsen in Robert R. Wilmsen v. State of Indiana, 21A-CR-1214.

Wilmsen was convicted of three counts of Level 1 felony child molesting; Level 1 felony attempted child molesting; two counts of Level 4 felony sexual misconduct with a minor; Level 4 felony attempted sexual misconduct with a minor; two counts of Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor; and one count of Level 6 felony dissemination of matter harmful to minors.

The incidents took place over several months in 2018 and 2019 when Wilmsen repeatedly molested his girlfriend’s minor daughters.

Wilmsen was found guilty as charged and admitted that he was a repeat sexual offender. During a sentencing hearing in June 2021, the Elkhart Superior Court considered Wilmsen’s criminal history as an aggravating circumstance.

Specifically, it noted his juvenile adjudication for child molesting and a 1998 felony child molesting conviction.

Wilmsen was ultimately sentenced to an aggregate 190-years in the Indiana Department of Correction, which he appealed as being inappropriate pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B).

“The nature of Wilmsen’s offenses was horrific,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote in affirming the sentence. “We reject Wilmsen’s argument that the nature of his offenses does not support the length of his aggregate sentence because the children did not suffer physical injuries requiring medical care.”

The COA also found Wilmsen failed to present any compelling evidence that would establish evidence of good character.

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