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Man gets prison for fondling GHT girl, 6

Becky Vargo • Apr 3, 2018 at 8:00 AM

A 29-year-old Grand Rapids man will go to prison for a minimum of four years and up to 15 years for molesting a 6-year-old girl in Grand Haven Township.

Tyler R. Wizner was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court after pleading no contest to the charge last month. A no-contest plea is handled the same as a guilty plea when it comes to sentencing.

In exchange for his plea, a more severe charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct was dismissed.

Wizner also pleaded no contest to a charge of accosting a minor for immoral purposes. Judge Jon Hulsing ordered Wizner to serve 2-4 years in prison on that charge.

During the plea hearing on March 5, officials noted that Wizner used lubricants and touched the girl’s vaginal area with his fingers in an incident that occurred in early July 2017. Wizner was arrested a few days later and bond was set at $25,000.

At Monday’s sentencing, the victim’s mother called Wizner “a monster” and questioned how any man could climb into a little girl’s bed and molest her.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jake Jenison, in pushing for a stiffer penalty, said the defendant entered the house without permission and, while inside, he committed a felony. Jenison said the man knew that the victim’s mother would be sleeping when he went upstairs to get lubricant and then went back to the victim’s room.

Defense attorney Richard Zambon said his client was so intoxicated at the time that he could not remember the events of that night.

“He accepted what happened,” Zambon said. “He has expressed extreme remorse.”

When asked if he wanted to comment, Wizner said he was “disgusted and appalled” about what he did.

“I have never been more sorry for anything in my life,” he told the court.

Hulsing called the incident a “heinous act.”

Despite the fact that Wizner had done some “appropriate things” since the incident, Hulsing said the underlying act is significant.

The victim’s mother said she went along with the plea deal, not because Wizner wasn’t guilty of the harsher charge, but because she wanted to spare her daughter the trauma of a trial. 

“As a 6-year-old little girl, your biggest worries should be what game you will play on the playground, what outfit you will wear to school or what you will do on the weekend,” the mother said. “It shouldn’t be that a monster will climb into your bed, remove your PJs and touch your privates. You shouldn’t see a man in a car next to you that also has a clean-shaven head and cry in fear that it is the same monster that climbed into your bed that night.”

Wizner was credited for 98 days already served in jail. He must also register as a sex offender.

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