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Appeals court upholds Green Bay sex offender's conviction

WAUSAU, WI (WTAQ) - A state appeals court has refused to throw out a sex offender’s conviction, just because a judge called the man’s crimes an abomination in the sight of God.

41-year-old Robert Betters of Green Bay was convicted in 2011 of having repeated sexual contact with his girlfriend’s two teenage sons.

Brown County Circuit Judge Donald Zuidmulder sentenced Betters to 25 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision – and at the time, the judge said every child is a gift from God, and Betters’ conduct was an abomination in the sight of God.

Betters appealed, saying the judge relied on religious doctrine in his sentence.

The Third District Appellate Court in Wausau said the remarks were ill-advised – but Zuidmulder correctly considered the seriousness and nature of the offenses in his sentence.

Betters pleaded no contest on repeated child sexual assault and possessing child pornography. A second child sex assault charge was dropped in a plea bargain.