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Judge gives 19-yo 3 years, says he treated the young girls “as if they were less than human,” in gang rape case

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Heavell Basley (far right) sits with his attorney Bernardo Cueto as Judge Ramona Gonzalez sentences Basley for sexual assault

A 19-year-old La Crosse man was sentenced to three years in prison for taking part in a 2017 gang rape of underage girls at a residential garage.

Heavell Basley received prison terms for both strangulation and 2nd degree sexual assault, after reaching a plea agreement in May.

The terms will be served at the same time, followed by seven years of supervision. Basley does have 236 days of credit for time served in jail.

Basley told Judge Ramona Gonzalez on Thursday that he is deeply sorry for the attacks on two girls, who had run away from the Family and Children’s Center of La Crosse.

He also claimed that he couldn’t stop the assaults on the victims.

Defense attorney Bernardo Cueto argued that society would be harmed if Basley were sent to prison, but Gonzalez said Basley needs to be punished.

Gonzalez said a prison term for Basley isn’t going to give time back to the victims, and told him that he had treated the young girls “as if they were less than human.”

Gonzalez says the length of the prison term took Basley’s age and cognitive abilities into consideration.

Basley had difficulty expressing himself in court, and Gonzalez wrote an explanation on paper to help him understand his sentence.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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