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

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.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

ARBOR VITAE - Last summer the Northwoods LBGT community and allies come together to celebrate love, diversity and acceptance.

After last year's successful festival, the Rainbow Hodags planned an even bigger one for this year.

More than 75 people celebrated gay pride at the second annual Pride Fest in Arbor Vitae.

Lots of laughter, live music, and dancing filled the park. 

+ Read More

Play Video

LAKE TOMAHAWK - Back in the early nineties, an event in Lake Tomahawk gave thanks to veterans. This year, a group of community members decided to bring it back.

The Vets and Guides event invites veterans from King, Tomah, and other areas to come to Lake Tomahawk for a day of fishing, food, and a good time.

+ Read More

FLORENCE COUNTY - Two high school students died in a car crash early Friday morning in Florence County. The wreck happened at around 6:20 a.m. according to the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

The vehicle was traveling north on County Highway N in the Commonwealth Township, when the driver lost control while making a turn. The vehicle crossed the center line, left the roadway, and hit a tree, bursting into flames upon impact.

The names and ages of the Florence High School students will be released after notifications are made.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group working to maintain recreational trails in the area got some help in their mission. The Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association received grants to help fund its various projects.

The group got two DNR Recreational Trail Act Grants totaled at a little more than $13,000. The WPS Foundation also gave a total of $1,800 in grants. The grant money will be used to help with multiple projects. 

One project is to construct a boardwalk over the wetlands of the Cassian Cross County Ski Trail. RASTA is also going to construct a new ski trail at Washburn.

For more information on all of RASTA's projects, visit their Facebook page lined below.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - After a long night shift, DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz answered his phone with some anxiety early Wednesday morning.

"Oh, phone ringing at 1, 2 in the morning, this can't be good," Walz said.

That anxiety turned to excitement.

"They said they had a homeowner with a bear in a basement," Walz said.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - A Lake Tomahawk man pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting a child.

Robert Aufrere was found guilty of third degree child sexual assault in Oneida County Court Friday. 

+ Read More

Play Video

- In the last week, more than a dozen people in the Wausau area found their cars damaged or broken into.

In a span of six days, at least 17 vehicles were either keyed, had windows bashed in or had stuff stolen from them.

"Some weirdo doings some weirdo stuff that's how I look at it," said Jon Radtke who lives in the neighborhood where items were stolen from a handful of unlocked cars."It's kind of (strange) for this area. We really don't have a lot of problems in the area."

Last Friday, two vehicles parked at the East High Apartments on Street and Adams Street and three more just down the street were broken into.

"We're working on who [is doing] this," said Wausau Police Officer Brian Burkhardt.

He says a few days after the break-ins around 7th Street; he received calls of 12 cars being vandalized, nothing stolen just vandalized.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here