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Former Burlington High student sentenced to probation for sex assault last year at school

Former Burlington High student sentenced to probation for sex assault last year at school

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RACINE — An 18-year-old former Burlington High School student was sentenced to one year of probation and community service Friday for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student in a stairwell at the school last year.

Gavin Moore pleaded no contest on Friday to one count of fourth-degree sexual assault and Racine County Circuit Court Judge Faye Flancher found him guilty.

Flancher sentenced him to a stayed nine months in jail and one year of probation, meaning that he will only serve jail time if he violates probation.

“I will tell you today, Mr. Moore, that if I could put you on probation longer, I would,” Flancher told Moore during the sentencing hearing.

The judge had some cutting words for Moore regarding his actions on Oct. 31, when he was a senior at Burlington High School. That day in the stairwell at the high school, he and a girl several years younger than him were apparently flirting. They kissed, but then he forced her to perform a sex act.

When an officer spoke with Moore about the incident, Moore said he wouldn’t use the word “force.” But he admitted that things went further than he intended.

“Shame on you,” Flancher said. “Shame on you, Mr. Moore.”

Frank Parise, Moore’s lawyer, asked for the possibility of future expungement of the conviction, based on his client’s lack of criminal history and his past involvement in the community, such as his participation in Boy Scouts. Parise said that Moore had already faced some consequences for his actions since he had to complete much of his senior year schoolwork online to avoid having contact with the victim, even before schools were shut due to COVID-19.

‘Control issues’

Flancher acknowledged that Moore’s actions have already had consequences, as they should.

“Your actions were absolutely appalling,” Flancher said. “And they completely contradict everything that you’ve learned in Scouting, everything your parents have taught you.”

Flancher said she was “disturbed” by the incident.

“The underlying criminal complaint to me screams ‘power and control issues’ and that concerns me greatly,” Flancher said. “You are a senior in high school, this young lady is a freshman.”

Deputy Racine County District Attorney Dirk Jensen recommended a year of probation and 40 hours of community service for Moore, and said he did not believe the courts would see Moore again. Jensen said he would leave the issue of expungement to the court’s discretion.

“I understand the seriousness of what I did,” Moore said on Friday. “I know how horrible it was and how wrong it was. And I do want to move forward from it and give back to the community and pay for what I’ve done and move on with my life and do whatever you think it takes for expungement.”

Probation requirements

The terms of Moore’s probation include that he maintain absolute sobriety, that he obtain full-time employment while not in school and maintain at least part-time employment while in school. He is ordered to have absolutely no contact with the victim, including electronically or through third parties. he is also required to perform 40 hours of community service and pay all court costs.

Flancher granted Moore the possibility of expungement, but only if he complies completely with the terms of his probation. She added that if he has just one probation violation, his right to expungement will be forfeited.

“I hope we don’t see each other in this forum again,” Flancher told Moore.

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