Liberal Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz laughed when asked about the weak sentence she gave a felon who randomly abducted a Milwaukee teen girl off the street and raped her in a hotel room. She defended it.
She could have given Anton Veasley 35 years (with 20 spent behind bars) but instead let him walk out the courthouse a free man on sentencing day in 2021.
Veasley had a serious criminal record at the time, including for a weapons offense. He is today a non-compliant sex offender with an unverified residence.
Veasley has already reoffended by carrying a gun as a felon since Protasiewicz’s sentence, but Protasiewicz says she wouldn’t do anything differently in the case.
Supreme Court Candidate Janet Protasiewicz laughed when asked about her decision to sentence a convicted child rapist to NO prison time.
She apparently finds it funny that she allowed felon Anton Veasley to walk out the door of the courthouse a free man on the day of the 2021 sentencing, and it doesn’t seem to bother her that he’s already re-offended by carrying a firearm as a felon in Washington County.
After Protesiewicz said she was “proud of her record” as a Milwaukee County Judge, journalist A.J. Bayatpour asked her about the Anton Veasley case, noting that it had led to criticism that she was “soft on a violent sexual crime.” He abducted a 15-year-old Milwaukee girl off the street, randomly, and then raped her in a hotel room, court records say.
Protasiewicz started laughing before saying, “that’s absolutely ridiculous.”
In the interview on Capital City Sunday that aired Jan. 15, 2023, Bayatpour asked Protasiewicz about the case, which was first reported by Wisconsin Right Now. She defended the sentence, even saying she doesn’t have second thoughts about it, despite the fact that Anton Veasley has already re-offended, committing the crime of felon in possession of a firearm in Washington County.
As for criticism she's received for a 2021 sentence, where she declined to give additional prison time for a child enticement/3rd deg. sexual assault conviction, Protasiewicz says, "You don't have a crystal ball. I knew the facts that I knew at the time." pic.twitter.com/ZDYUMYSHRE
— A.J. Bayatpour (@AJBayatpour) January 15, 2023
She is running against conservatives Dan Kelly and Jennifer Dorow and liberal Dane County Judge Everett Mitchell.
According to the criminal complaint, the girl was walking alone in the area of Silver Spring Drive on May 14 in Milwaukee when Veasley pulled up next to her in a pickup truck and started yelling. She tried to ignore him, but he left the truck, grabbed her wrist, and forced her inside the vehicle. He took the girl to the American Inn Motel, where he spoke to her about becoming a prostitute, gave her condoms and sexually assaulted her.
At one point, Veasley left the victim alone in the hotel room, so she left and alerted police, the complaint said. Police obtained his license plate from surveillance cameras.
Veasley is currently back on the streets and is listed as a non-compliant sex offender with an unverified residence, after he was sentenced by a Tony Evers’ appointee, Judge Sandra Giernoth to another slap on the wrist – time served, again, in late December 2022, for the new firearm offense in Washington County.
In the interview, Protasiewicz defended giving Veasley a time served disposition that allowed him to walk out the door of the courthouse on probation for the serious rape and abduction case of the teenage girl.
“The case you’re referencing, the person had already served more a year in custody, and you balance you know what’s the appropriate time versus what’s the possibility and the hope that that person is going to do well on supervision,” Protasiewicz said.
Bayatpour noted that Veasley did NOT do well on supervision since he was arrested again on the weapons offense and asked whether, in light of that, Protasiewicz had second thoughts on the sentence she gave him in 2021.
“No, because you don’t have a crystal ball,” she said. “I knew the facts that I knew at the time that I sentenced this person,” she said, defending the sentence.
So let’s review the facts that she knew “at the time.”
For starters, Veasley was already a convicted firearm offender.
Protasiewicz, a liberal judge in Milwaukee County, could have given Anton R. Veasley, 34, up to 35 years (with 20 spent behind bars). Instead, she gave Veasley time served in June 2021 and released him back into the community. His criminal history shows he’s violated extended supervision repeatedly before.
Prosecutors had charged Veasley with three felonies: kidnapping, trafficking of a child, and second-degree sexual assault of a child. Those charges were later pleaded down to 3rd-degree sexual assault and child enticement, court records show.
Veasley was charged in May 2020.
Janet Protasiewicz sentenced Veasley to 417 days in the House of Correction but gave him time served on the sexual assault charge (a credit for already serving 417 days in jail), a five-year STAYED prison sentence, and five years STAYED extended supervision for the child enticement conviction. He was given four years probation.
Anton R. Veasley’s Criminal History
Veasley has prior convictions including 2nd-degree reckless endangering safety, felon in possession of a firearm, and fleeing police.
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