Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect a correction. Fox6News.com originally reported Esselman would serve 12 years in prison. However, that was in connection with one count; court records show Esselman was charged with two counts and the sentence is consecutive, so he will serve 24 years.
A 36-year-old Port Washington man will spend 24 years in prison in connection with sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl.
James R. Esselman, 216 W. Jackson St., will also have 23 years of extended supervision after his prison sentence, according to court records, for the two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child under 26 years old.
Esselman was charged in January; in March, he pleaded not guilty to the charges; in October, he changed the plea to no contest.
According to court records, the state is recommending Esselman serve 12 years confinement and 15 years extended supervision on each count consecutively, though a pre-sentencing investigation will take place before the December hearing. Until then, Esselman remains in custody without bail.
According to the criminal complaint, Esselman had intercourse with the girl on two occasions in November at his residence while babysitting the child. The incidents came to light on Jan. 21 after the victim told Esselman's mother they had played "boy butt and girl butt," and explained how the game made her cry. She then confronted her son about the allegation and Esselman admitted to it, but said he had only molested the girl once.
When police then interviewed Esselman, he admitted to sexually assaulting the girl twice and making the girl pose for sexually explicit photos.