NEW RICHMOND, WI — After being arrested in 2016 for ordering a five-year-old boy to urinate into his mouth on three occasions, 70-year-old Richard Zeier has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail, followed by eight years of extended supervision.
Zeier will also be placed on the National Sex Offender Registry for the rest of his life — despite his telling officers that he was merely acting as a “receptacle” for the fluid and that it “wasn’t sexual.”
The urine-drinking incidents occurred throughout 2014 and, according to the child’s grandmother, “made our life hell.”Last September, a jury found Zeier guilty of three counts of first-degree child sexual assault.
Throughout the court proceedings, Zeier insisted that he had no idea that what he’d done was wrong. He also added that he didn’t think it was wrong when, he claimed, Catholic clergymen had sex with him when he was a child.
At the sentencing, St. Croix County Assistant District Attorney Ed Minser reiterated the “extremely serious” nature of the transgressions and how Zeier took time to “groom” the victim. Misner additionally recommended “eye-for-an-eye” punishment.
Defense attorney Aaron Nelson responded by invoking historical figures who rejected such notions of justice, including Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.
When announcing the sentence, St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham told Zeier, “You, arguably, didn’t see it as wrong. It was. Plain and simple. End of discussion.”
The boy’s grandmother welcomed the penalties, and said of Zeier, “Now I feel it’s time for him to pay.”
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Main photo: Richard Zeier in 2018 [St. Croix County Jail]