Third defendant sentenced in gang-rape case at DOC halfway house

Reginald Patton sentencing.jpg
Reginald Patton in court

MADISON, Wis. - A Dane County Judge has sentenced a man accused of being involved in the gang rape of a 17-year-old at a Department of Corrections halfway house to 6-and-a-half years in prison.

Reginald Patton, 27, was in court Monday morning for a sentencing hearing on modified felony charges from a plea deal cut in February of third-degree sexual assault and exposing his genitals to a minor. Judge Nicholas McNamara sentenced him to the maximum penalty for those crimes, totaling 13 years. McNamara's sentence will send Patton to prison for 6-and-a-half of those years and have him on extended supervision for 6.5 years.

"You saw her as an object for your pleasure and took," Judge McNamara said at sentencing.

Patton watched as family members of the victim testified to the impact of the rape.

"I wish I could take it back," Patton said. "I'm going to do better."

Patton was accused in July of 2016 of taking part in the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl at home in the Town of Blooming Grove. Four men were arrested for the crime, all of them sex offenders under monitoring by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

Aninvestigation in 2017 found daily monitoring did not happen at the home where the young woman was assaulted. The victim later died at a group home in Dane County that also closed after citations from the state.

Patton's sentence is the shortest yet for any of the sex offenders involved in the incident.

Stephon Hiler was sentenced to 20 years in prison and five years of extended supervision for his part in the incident. Hiler's attorney argued in court last August that he should not have been put in an environment where he would not be supervised.

“That house was an animal house long before he got there,” Hiler's attorney, Michael Covey, said. “There was no camera, minimal DOC visits and any visits they had were pre-planned. I think they had no idea what type of environment they were putting him into.”

James L. Phillips was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 10 years extended supervision for second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim.

The remaining suspect to be tried in the case is Nathan J. Thompson, who is facing charges of second-degree sexual assault and multiple charges of bail-jumping. Thompson is currently scheduled for a jury trial in June.