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Judge sentences 'monstrous' Christenson to 60 years in prison in Forest County child rape, assault caseSubmitted: 05/14/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Judge sentences 'monstrous' Christenson to 60 years in prison in Forest County child rape, assault case
CRANDON - Judge Patrick O'Melia and Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono used the same words to describe 34-year-old Matthew Christenson on Monday.

They both said what he'd done was "the worst case [they'd] ever seen."

The Crandon man was found guilty of sexually and physically abusing several children over a span of years. On Monday, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison for his crimes.

"It was monstrous in the end," O'Melia told Christenson. "I can't risk you being out."


In one case, police say Christenson impregnated a girl, then performed a crude abortion on her. A different victim told police Christenson forced the victim into sex more than one hundred times. Still another described being beaten over and over with a switch, crescent wrench, and fire poker.

Police reports said Christenson regularly got children drunk or high before committing physical or sexual abuse.

O'Melia's sentence means Christenson's prison term will end when he is 93 years old. After that, he will be on extended supervision until age 108.

"I don't want you to see children again," O'Melia said. "I don't want you to have children available to you in the future."

Simono, who prosecuted the case, called the sentence "just" and "proper."

"It's the worst case I've ever seen," he said. "We deal with homicides [and] attempted homicides. That's one component of a very horrific crime. To violate a person through sexual assault and to do so repeatedly, I don't think it gets any worse."

Christenson's longtime fiancée, Krystal Polar, painted a different picture of the convicted felon.

"Matt is charming, thoughtful, caring, generous, and loving," she told the court. "Matt does whatever he can to make everyone happy."

Christenson's defense attorney, Andrew Morgan, acknowledged his client's downfalls.

But he also said Christenson "fulfilled his role as a contributing member of community and family."

Morgan declined an interview request.

Simono and Morgan had agreed to a sentencing recommendation that would have put Christenson in prison for 15 years and on extended supervision for ten years. But O'Melia made the punishment much steeper.

"This train wreck is going to have long-lasting results, all because of you," he said. "This case, Mr. Christenson, has got so many victims, you can't list them all."

The plea agreement called for Christenson to be found guilty on four counts and have seven counts dismissed but considered for sentencing. Simono explained that convicting Christenson on all 11 original counts would not likely have increased his incarceration time.

"At a certain point in time, it just becomes piling on," Simono said. "It serves no legitimate sentencing factor for the court."

Simono also said he wanted to avoid having to put the victims through the stress of a trial. Five of the six victims were in court on Monday.

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