33-year-old Michael Wysolovski was charged with first-degree cruelty to children after he kept a 16-year-old girl captive for a year. His sentence is only 8 months’ time served and 10 years’ probation.
Wysolovski met the then 15-year-old girl in an online forum for anorexia support. The two corresponded for a year, with the girl expressing her depression and want to run away from home.
When the girl was 16, Wysolovski drove and picked her up from her North Carolina home and took her to his place in Georgia.
The relationship started with consensual sex, with BDSM scenarios incorporated that included nonconsensual roleplay. However, overtime, the “consensual nonconsensual” play turned into true nonconsensual sex, with Wysolovski raping the girl.
Yeah if only it were illegal too...— Matthew Montana (@MontanaMan618) May 2, 2019
Isn't the word that you're looking for "rape." https://t.co/xVCNh41UsQ— Robert Mann (@RTMannJr) May 2, 2019
If you roll your eyes when someone calls this place we live “rape culture”... https://t.co/1MvQF8vw0m— Stacy Parker LeMelle (@StacyLeMelle) May 2, 2019
He locked her in a cage, and used her eating disorder against her. He controlled how many calories she was allowed eat, and even told her no one would love her if she gained weight.
The girl was able to escape thanks to someone else from the anorexia support forum. She told her internet friend that she was being held, and sent a photo of her view out the window, as she wasn’t quite sure where she was.
Since her rescue, the girl has tried to commit suicide three times.
Um. What?— Zeke Morgan (@socialistonion) May 2, 2019
Am I reading this correctly? https://t.co/sLIJh46MMI
Probation for TORTURE? What country am I living in?— Andrea Jo #PWDP (@ABorgmom) May 2, 2019
Because he’ll be dead. Right? https://t.co/sF3zUsLb9Y— Christina Thomas (@cthomas8462) May 2, 2019
At the plea hearing, she told the courtroom,
“I severely mutilated myself, hoping that I would become unlovable so no one would hurt me again as Michael Wysolovski did. I am permanently disfigured.”
This only scratches the surface of what Wysolovski did to her. With all the evidence provided, and Wysolovski pleading guilty to a first degree charge of child cruelty, how is he getting such a light sentence?
District Attorney, Michael DeTardo told the court that the initial charges of rape and aggravated sodomy would be difficult to prove. Since the relationship had begun consensually, it made it risky to take to trial.
This story is framed as “how courts respond to accusations of rape and sexual assault,” but the lenient sentence appears to have been dictated by a plea agreement.— Carissa Byrne Hessick (@CBHessick) May 2, 2019
The fact prosecutors didn’t think they could win at trial didn’t appear until the second half of the story. https://t.co/gMxxlMiDQj
The victim was a minor! This is outrageous- a 14 year old does not know or have the capacity to understand the danger she was putting herself in.— Christy Fallin (@Berylbebe) May 2, 2019
Because Wysolovski had waited until the girl turned 16, the age of consent in Georgia, he couldn’t be charged with child molestation either.
Lastly it came down to the victim herself. Wysolovski’s attorney wouldn’t accept a plea deal that included prison time, which would have meant the case would go to trial. For it to succeed, the girl would have to testify.
Reliving those experiences while attorneys try to take apart your testimony could be damaging for the victim. She already had severe mental health issues because of this experience and testifying in court could re-traumatize her.
During his plea hearing Wysolovski told the judge that he thought he was helping the girl escape a bad situation at home.
“I can’t see even the most twisted definition of what you did as help,”
Judge Hamil responded.
“I don’t see any emotion from you. I don’t see any remorse from you.”
In addition to the probation, Wysolovski will have to register as a sex offender for life.
This is only the latest in a long history of sex offenders getting light sentences. Just last month, a 26-year-old bus driver was sentenced to probation for raping a 14-year-old girl. The judge has received a lot of backlash since.