A former Almena resident has been sentenced to a five-year prison term two months after a Barron County jury found him guilty of three child sex felonies, according to Barron County Circuit Court documents.
Jay A. Hoppe, 36, was given credit for 62 days already served in jail when he was sentenced Wednesday July 24, 2019. He had been in jail since June 7, 2019, when a 12-member jury found him guilty of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child enticement for sexual contact, and attempted second-degree child sex assault.
Court records said Hoppe lived in Almena at the time of his arrest in March 2018.
The criminal complaint said Hoppe responded to an ad placed by a Rice Lake police investigator on a website “that consists mostly of (individuals) looking for sexual relationships.”
The officer later received an email, allegedly from Hoppe, on a page supported by the website. Later, Hoppe allegedly agreed to send text messages to a number provided by the officer. In the texts, the officer identified herself as a girl under age 16, and sent a photo, taken when she was 18.
After arranging to meet the officer in Rice Lake, Hoppe was arrested after he drove into the Cedar Mall parking lot in Rice Lake.
Court documents said a minister and one other person spoke in behalf of Hoppe at the July 24 sentencing hearing.
The sentence includes a 10-year prison term – five years initial confinement and five years’ probation – in connection with the charge of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. Each of the other two counts includes a three-year prison term, which will be served concurrently with the first count. Hoppe was also required to register as a sex offender for life.
The case was among a series of more than a dozen “sex stings” arranged by Rice Lake police through the use of dating websites and/or text messaging, according to court documents.