Thursday, July 23, 2009

Central Wisconsin kidnapper, rapist of young men sentenced to 50 years

A man who abducted and raped two Wisconsin Rapids men in their early 20s was sentenced to 50 years in prison and 20 years of extended supervision for his crimes, which the mother of one of the victims called "a mother's worst nightmare." Lanphear was formally sentenced of 2 counts of 1st degree sexual assault and 2 counts of kidnapping. Besides the prison sentence, Wood County Circuit Court Judge Greg Potter ordered Lanphear to undergo any necessary counseling, and pay court costs and restitution.

Lanphear had been planning this crime for months, even though he did not have specific targets, according to Wood County District Attorney Todd Wolf. There were chains, phony police badges, and a sleeping area set up for the 1st victim. Though the perp did not have specific targets, he was prepared when the opportunity presented itself.

The 1st victim was walking home from Wisconsin Rapids’ annual July 4th fireworks display because he was drunk and did not want to drive. A guy came by in a pickup truck and asked the 23 year old if he wanted a ride home. When the car was in the Town Of Grand Rapids, Lanphear, the guy in the truck, flashed a badge and told the victim he was a Grand Rapids police officer. Lanphear handcuffed and smacked the man over the head with a flashlight.

When the first victim came to, he was chained, blindfolded, and after Lanphear cut his clothes off, nude in Lanphear’s basement. Lanphear then raped this victim. The next morning, July 5, the 23 year old was taken upstairs, nude, chained, and blindfolded for feeding.

The victim was told he was lying on plastic because “there would be no mess for anyone to find” if he got out of hand. Lanphear told him how the chains were attached to a rifle what would go off if the victim tried to move. That night, the defendant slept with and caressed the basement victim, and this escalated to rape.

The 2nd victim was kidnapped on July 7, 2008 after getting drunk at Johnny’s Bar in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. This victim, 21, decided to sleep in his truck instead of driving home. This was when “Eddy” came up and handcuffed him with zip ties. He was blindfolded, and recognized Lanphear as someone who he knew. The 21 year old was taken to Lanphear’s house where he was chained in the garage in a manner similar to the first victim.

When this victim resisted, Lanphear struck him with a hard object at least twice, knocking him out. The perp led this victim to the living room, where he was made to drink orange juice mixed with vodka. After being raped on the living room floor, the victim was forced to sleep in the garage on a cot.

The next day, July 8, Lanphear hung the 21 year old from a chain suspended to the ceiling. He asked Lanphear to get his cigarettes. This victim remove the blindfold, pulled the ladder to him, and climbed to the ceiling where he removed the resitaints. This victim fled nude to a neighbors’ house and called police, who arrested Lanphear and rescued the basement victim.

When the 21 year old's mother saw him in the hospital, he was "beaten and broken beyond belief."

Lanphear plead guilty on June 1 to these four counts, down from the original 13 counts cited in the first complaint. Judge Potter, reading from the presentencing report, stated that Lanphear was a medium to high risk to reoffend, but that any chance of reoffending was too much.

"In this situation, you're every person's worst nightmare. The things you did we only read about in books and see in movies. Unfortunately for these two individuals, their worst nightmare came true and they had to live it."

Although only the two men endured physical harm, others also fell victim to Lanphear's actions, including the community, Judge Greg Potter said during the sentencing.

"We want to know we can walk the streets and be safe from bodily harm, and that isn't the case now in Wisconsin Rapids," Potter said.

The mother of the last victim stated that "This past year has been extremely difficult for our son and our family," she said.

47 year old Dave O'Keefe of Stevens Point stated after the verdict, "If he could do that to two grown men, he could do that to women and children, too, or to other men. He had 47 years out of prison, and he made a big mistake."

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