Shayne Trudelle

A Washburn County man who was one of more than a dozen people arrested in Rice Lake during a series of “sex sting” operations will serve eight years in prison after he was sentenced Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in Barron County Circuit Court.

Shayne T. Trudelle, 44, 309 Fifth Ave., Shell Lake, was found guilty of four felony charges and two misdemeanor counts after a two-day jury trial that ended Sept. 25.

According to maximum sentencing guidelines, Trudelle could have faced more than 69 years behind bars. However, Circuit Court Judge James C. Babler imposed consecutive sentences on only two of the charges.

They include a five-year prison term for using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, and an additional three years in connection with a charge of child enticement (for) sexual contact.

Trudelle will serve sentences on four other charges concurrently. They include two felonies -- attempted sex assault of a child and possession of methamphetamine – and two misdemeanors, carrying a concealed weapon and “attempting to expose a child to harmful materials.”

A complaint filed March 2, 2018, said Trudelle was arrested Feb. 22 in the parking lot of a Rice Lake store, after he had arranged by text to meet a person whom he thought was a 15-year-old boy for a sexual encounter.

The “boy” turned out to be an undercover Rice Lake police officer who had met Trudelle online after she responded to an advertisement Trudelle allegedly posted on the Craigslist database, using a web page entitled “Casual Encounters.”

The defendant and the officer connected via email on Feb. 14. In one of the early messages, the investigator mentioned that “I am only 15,” and asked, “what if you don’t like me because I’m young?” Trudelle’s alleged response: “Don’t worry about that. That won’t be a problem.”

Trudelle later allegedly emailed two photos to the investigator depicting male genitals.

The complaint said Trudelle and the officer arranged to meet after a series of sexually explicit text messages exchanged on Feb. 21. The eventual plan was for the defendant to pick up the “15-year-old boy” on the night of Feb. 22 in a retail store parking lot.

The complaint said that after it pulled into the lot, Trudelle’s car was surrounded by half a dozen officers, including the investigator and five others. The investigator said she recognized Trudelle from a photo he had allegedly emailed to her the previous day.