Another sent to prison for brutal rapes in Jackson CountyA Taylor man accused of raping and brutalizing a young girl a decade ago was sentenced Wednesday in Jackson County Court to 20 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision.
By: By Jon Swedien, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., Superior Telegram
A Taylor man accused of raping and brutalizing a young girl a decade ago was sentenced Wednesday in Jackson County Court to 20 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision.
Gary W. Tollefson, 55, was convicted of two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child in April. Sixteen other felony counts against him were dismissed. He had faced up to 80 years.
Tollefson was one of numerous men who assaulted the victim during her childhood.
The woman, who is now in her early 20s, repeatedly was raped and tortured by Tollefson's brother -- Rodney L. Tollefson, 41, of Melrose -- and other men.
"I would have to say in the years I've (been a prosecutor) that this has been the most emotionally challenging case that I have ever worked on. And it is certainly the most heinous child abuse, child sexual assault case that I have prosecuted," said Monroe County District Attorney Dan Cary, who has been a prosecutor for 14 years.
According to a criminal complaint against Gary Tollefson:
Gary and Rodney Tollefson assaulted the then 10-year-old girl in late 2001 or early 2002. The women told authorities the men repeatedly raped and brutalized her.
The victim said Rodney Tollefson sexually assaulted her beginning with sexual intercourse at age 4 and ending in December 2010. The women said she was sexually assaulted with many objects and by men who paid Rodney Tollefson to have sex with her when she was about 8.
Last month, Rodney Tollefson was convicted of 36 felony counts related to the repeated sexual assault of the girl and was sentenced to 115 years in prison.
Cary requested Rodney Tollefson be sentenced to more than 300 years in prison, according to court records. Monroe County Judge Mark Goodman called Rodney Tollefson sadistic and extremely dangerous.
Phillip L. Ronning, 23, of rural Melrose, who is Rodney Tollefson's nephew, pleaded guilty in August to first-degree sexual assault of the woman in 2010. The assault happened as Rodney Tollefson held her down. Ronning was sentenced in October to 30 years in prison.
Jarrod I. Peterson, 30, of Blair was sentenced last month to five years in prison followed by five years of extended supervision for raping the same victim. He told police he raped the girl with Rodney Tollefson's encouragement.
Carey said more men are believed to have assaulted the woman when she was a girl, and a criminal investigation is ongoing. He said he expects more charges against other men could be filed.
Swedien can be reached at 715-833-9214, 800-236-7077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c)2012 the Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.)
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