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Man sentenced to 26 years for sexual assault of child

Joseph Wojdyla

Joseph Wojdyla

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Updated: July 3, 2011 12:43PM

A Wadsworth man is going to prison for 26 years for committing a crime he said he is still haunted by.

Joseph Wojdyla, 20, was sentenced before Judge George Bridges for sexually abusing two boys. Wojdyla committed multiple sex acts with a 13-year-old boy during a year-and-a-half period in addition to molesting a second 12-year-old boy. Wojdyla also took inappropriate photos of the two boys and stored them in his cellphone.

“I messed up their life and I have to pay for it,” Wojdyla tearfully said in court. “I wish I could undo what I have done. I feel remorse for what I have done and I am haunted by what I did.”

He pleaded guilty to predatory sexual assault of a child and criminal sexual assault. The charge of manufacture of child pornography was dropped as a result of his plea deal. The plea deal also gave him a sentencing range of 14 to 40 years in prison.

“The state is asking for the maximum sentence of 40 years. In this particular case, the defendant remains a risk to this community. The community needs to be protected,” Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Stanton argued.

The parents of the victims read statements at the sentencing talking about how the whole family has struggled and suffered since Wojdyla’s arrest in September 2009. The two boys are brothers.

“He was like a good friend. At first, the sexual abuse was confusing. I am good at trying not to think about it,” the 12-year-old wrote in his statement. “The sentence should be medium to long because he’s done this before. When he gets out (of prison), he should be watched.”

Wojdyla was 17 to 18 when he committed offenses against the brothers. He gifted them with video games, an Xbox and cash, Stanton said. The boys would play video games with Wojdyla in his room. After 15 to 20 minutes of play, Wojdyla would tell them to do “that thing” in order to keep playing video games.

“There is something redeemable in this boy (Wojdyla). What he did is repulsive, but he is redeemable,” Wysocki argued, asking Bridges to impose the minimum sentence.

Wojdyla started taking classes at College of Lake County and told the court he planned to “better himself” with whatever college courses he could take while in prison.

Bridges imposed a total of 26 years in prison in addition to $4,739 in fines. Wojdyla will also have to register as a sex offender for life after he is release from prison, Bridges ordered.

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