A 20-year-old La Crosse man convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl is going to prison.
Joshua Ward has been sentenced to four years behind bars, followed by six years of supervision, after failing to meet the terms of a diversion agreement.
The sentencing on Monday covered three criminal cases filed since 2016, including a case where Ward sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl while he was still a juvenile.
Ward asked Judge Todd Bjerke for another chance.
“I’ve been trying to get my life together. I have a job, and I finally get to see my daughter, and I’m just asking the court if you’re willing to give me one more chance, I promise you have my word that I won’t mess it up,” said Ward.
Bjerke told Ward that having one of his cases dismissed in a plea agreement didn’t seem to motivate him to change his behavior.
The judge also noted that Ward has continued to try contacting young girls on the internet, using aliases.
In one of the cases filed against Ward, he was a co-defendant with Heavell Basley, who recently pled guilty to taking part in a 2017 gang rape at a La Crosse garage.
Basley is scheduled to be sentenced in that case in late August.