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Man gets prison for grooming teen for sex

A Superior man was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison for initiating a two-year sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Christopher William Dallum, 34, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual assault, causing a child to view sexual activity, h...

A Superior man was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison for initiating a two-year sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Christopher William Dallum, 34, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual assault, causing a child to view sexual activity, having sex with a child age 16 or older and possession of marijuana in September. The six-year sentenced handed down by Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Michael Lucci includes 3-1/2 years extended supervision.

Dallum "manipulated the will and the emotions of a young teenage girl, a person he was actually supposed to protect," Lucci said. "Instead of protecting her, he took advantage of her for his own sexual gratification."

The Superior man, who had known the girl for more than five years, groomed her for the role of "sex toy," said District Attorney Dan Blank. "Mr. Dallum convinced (her) he was her best friend," he said.

Dallum provided the teen with a cell phone and web camera. The two instant messaged and exposed body parts to each other via the Internet. Dallum even picked the teen up after school and brought her to get birth control pills.

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When the sexual relationship started, the girl was 15 and Dallum was 32.

The girl's mother and Dallum's ex-wife spoke to Lucci before the sentence was handed down. Both expressed guilt that they didn't see the signs of abuse.

"This wasn't a stranger but someone we've known for many years," the girl's mother said. "We never dreamt she wasn't safe there."

Dallum's ex-wife, Michelle, said she considered the teen her fourth child. "I should have known what was going on," she said.

Lucci expressed concern that Dallum tried to minimize his actions, put the blame on others and denied that he has an attraction to underage girls.

"He has demonstrated a long history of sexually deviant behavior with underage girls," the judge said, including communicating with underage girls on the Internet, downloading child pornography and secretly videotaping his family bathroom.

"Chris needs to get his head looked at," agreed Dallum's attorney, Rick Gondik, but he said the Superior man could get the punishment and treatment needed with a local jail sentence.

The teen's mother disagreed.

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"I think we need to protect our children," she said. "I think we have to make a statement ... show people this is not acceptable."

As a condition of his extended release, Dallum was ordered to undergo psychological, sex offender and chemical dependency evaluations and follow recommendations. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender, provide a DNA sample, have no contact with the victim and her family and have no contact with any child under the age of 18 without the approval of his probation agent.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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