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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

[WI] No jail time for Officer Kessler because he already resigned his job

...THE CONVICTION IS HIS SECOND FOR A DOMESTIC-RELATED INCIDENT. BUT [JUDGE} WARREN AND ATTORNEYS FOR BOTH SIDES AGREED KESSLER, WHO RESIGNED FROM HIS ROLE AS KENOSHA POLICE OFFICER ON FEB. 17, HAS SUFFERED SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES ALREADY AND THAT JAIL TIME WASN'T WARRANTED...

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FORMER OFFICER GETS PROBATION FOR DOMESTIC ABUSE INCIDENT
By Mark Hornickel
mhornickel@kenoshanews.com
March 18, 2009
[Excerpts] A former Kenosha police officer was sentenced Tuesday morning to 18 months of probation for charges stemming from a dispute last month with his girlfriend. Kurtiss J. Kessler, 35, of Kenosha, pleaded guilty at a hearing to misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and battery, both related to domestic abuse. The court then proceeded immediately with a sentencing hearing, and Kenosha County Circuit Judge Wilbur W. Warren III agreed with the state's recommendation of probation. Warren ordered Kessler to continue anger management and counseling. He also was ordered to have "no violent contact" with the victim, with whom Kessler shares a nearly 2-year-old son. Additionally, Kessler, an avid hunter, cannot possess a firearm. Kessler could have faced up to one year in jail. THE CONVICTION IS HIS SECOND FOR A DOMESTIC-RELATED INCIDENT. BUT WARREN AND ATTORNEYS FOR BOTH SIDES AGREED KESSLER, WHO RESIGNED FROM HIS ROLE AS KENOSHA POLICE OFFICER ON FEB. 17, HAS SUFFERED SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES ALREADY AND THAT JAIL TIME WASN'T WARRANTED. "While people can argue, 'Well, people lose their jobs all the time,' they don't always lose careers," Kessler's attorney Loren Keating said. "A job is one thing; a career is another thing. Law enforcement is a career with all the benefits, and in today's environment as you know, a loss of that kind of job is unlikely to be recaptured any time soon." Throughout the hearing, Kessler showed little expression and spent a large portion of it looking toward a courtroom window. When Warren asked the former police officer if he had anything to say, Kessler said, "I agree with my attorney and accept responsibility for my actions." Kessler had been a Kenosha police officer for more than 11 years when he was suspended without pay as a result of his Feb. 9 arrest. A criminal complaint alleges an argument between Kessler and his girlfriend turned violent. Kessler allegedly grabbed her hair and later, the woman told police, threw a shoe at her. Police said there were no visible injuries. In handing out the sentence, Warren reiterated Kessler's resignation from the police department was a significant-enough consequence to pay for what amounted to minimal crimes. "I recognize that there are those who believe that you received special treatment in the court system ... but I don't think that's the case," Warren said. "You weren't beating anybody up with a closed fist, you weren't drawing any blood, you weren't breaking any bones. You pulled hair and threw a tennis shoe, and for that I don't think serious incarceration is justified." [LINK]

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