Sexual assault of child with disabilities leads to prison time

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Brian Kocher, 21 Brian Kocher, 21

URBANA, Ill. (WAND) – A convicted sexual predator will spend decades in prison for assaulting a child.

The News-Gazette reports a judge sentenced Brian Kocher, 21, to 23 years in prison. He will have to serve at least 17 of those years, down from the minimum 19 ½, after the court gave him credit for time already spent in jail.

Kocher admitted to sexually assaulting a child under 13, who was in his care and the care of other adults at the time. She has learning disabilities. It happened in the girl’s bedroom in March 2017.

The child testified in court that she hopes Kocher “spends a lot of time in prison” because of what he did. She said she talks to “social people” and has to take medications because of what happened.

The three predatory criminal sexual assault charges carried a maximum possible sentence of 60 years.

Kocher previously admitted to sexually assaulting two children when he was a teen in 2009. The newspaper says one of those involved a child who acted below her age because of cognitive deficiencies. It says he also engaged in bestiality with one of them.

The paper says Judge Tom Difanis referenced similarities between the 2017 assault and the 2009 crimes, calling them “chilling”. He said Kocher’s history made the sentencing an appropriate answer.

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