MADISON -- A Maiden Rock man indicted for using a minor to produce child pornography, distributing and possessing it, was sentenced Friday in federal court to 12 years in prison, lifetime supervised release and restitution to be determined later.
Eric Kurrelmeyer, 32, pleaded guilty in October to distributing sexually explicit images of a female under the age of 12 through a Kik messenger phone app that was noticed by an undercover law enforcement official in December 2018.
Kurrelmeyer used his cellphone to record a video of sexually explicit conduct with the minor twice in October 2018. He later exchanged the images in the Kik chatroom that was accessible to 50 other people. Kurrelmeyer also boasted about the sexual interest he had in his youthful victim, said District Judge William Conley.
Conley accepted the plea agreement Friday that bound him to imposing a maximum sentence of 12 years for the distribution offense, which had a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. But after hearing three members of the victim’s family ask him to impose more than 12 years, Conley learned from the attorneys that the victim’s family wasn’t consulted as to the length of the sentence. Conley then asked the victim’s mother if she wanted him to reject the plea and try the case which could involve her daughter to some extent.
The mother declined and Conley continued with the sentencing.
The three family members had told Conley that they felt angry and betrayed by Kurrelmeyer, who had been a friend.
“(The victim) suffered in many, many ways,” said one family member. “She’s had nightmares … and drew on her Barbie (dolls) and pulled them apart.”
“She’s lost her trust in adults and has experienced many things someone that age shouldn’t have to experience,” said another family member.
Kurrelmeyer told Conley that he “regrets my actions,” and apologized to all affected by his crimes, “which broke up a happy home.”
Conley told Kurrelmeyer that he has mentioned the illegal imagers in the case but not his underlying conduct which “caused the pain and devastation.”
“Until you deal with that you will continued to be a risk to society,” the judge said. “You need to step up and be the person who claim to be. I hope you find that in prison.”
Kurrelmeyer was raised on a dairy farm in Pierce County and worked on the farm and as laborer in the oil and coal industry. He also was a volunteer firefighter, Conley said.
Kurrelmeyer was first charged in Pierce County with sexual assault of a child and child pornography case before the case was transferred to the U.S. Attorney’s office. News of his being federally indicted prompted another alleged victim to come forward resulting in Kurrelmeyer being charged in Pierce County with a sexual assault of a child in 2000.
Both cases have been set for a Dec. 16 status conference before Judge Joseph Boles.
The victim in the federal case is eligible for mandatory restitution for costs associated with the crime Kurrelmeyer committed. Conley told the attorneys that he was “disappointed” in them for not agreeing upon a restitution amount by Friday’s sentencing. He urged them reach an agreement soon or he would hold a hearing and set the amount. Conley noted that the victim may be eligible for a one-time payment of up to $35,000 from a victims cash reserve program. He urged the family member to discuss it with the U.S. Attorney’s victim/witness coordinator.