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Wisconsin Man Gets 50 Years for Kidnapping, Gay Sex Assault

A man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted two young men who were held captive in chains at his central Wisconsin home was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison.

Edward Lanphear, 47, pleaded no contest to four felonies in exchange for nine others being dropped. He faced up to 130 years in prison.

Wood County Circuit Judge Gregory Potter said he imposed the term recommended by prosecutors because it was a virtual life sentence.

"Mr. Lanphear, you are every person's worst nightmare," Potter said. "The things that you did, people read about in books or see in movies."

One of the victims was in the courtroom to witness the sentencing. His mother read a statement comparing Lanphear to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and said her son and the other victim were lucky to be alive.

"What they endured in captivity, no one should have to endure," she told the judge. "We need to make sure this predator is locked up so he does not hurt any more boys."

The judge read a statement from the other victim.

"I just want my life to go on as normal and be done with all of this, but I know this isn't going to happen any time soon," the statement said.

Lanphear, who sat shackled at the wrists and ankles, read a statement apologizing to the victims.

"No person deserves the terror I put them through," he said. "No one but myself was at fault, no shame should be felt by anyone but myself."

He later added: "I never intended to kill anyone and do anything more than happened to them."

Lanphear showed no emotion as the sentence was read. The victim, who had remained composed until then, wiped away tears as his father reached over to comfort him. The man declined comment afterward.

According to a criminal complaint, Lanphear abducted a 23-year-old man and a 22-year-old man in Wisconsin Rapids in separate incidents last July. Prosecutors said Lanphear preyed on young men who had been drinking.

The victims testified at a preliminary hearing that they were handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to Lanphear's home where they were bound in chains and sexually assaulted. One escaped after several hours and called police.

Lanphear's attorney told the judge his client was not a "monster." Lanphear, a longtime paper mill worker and divorced father, has no previous criminal record and is a dutiful son, Gary Kryshak said.

"Quite frankly, Ed Lanphear is a good man who did a very bad thing," said Kryshak, who recommended a prison sentence of 20 years.

Kryshak called the crimes spur-of-the-moment. He said Lanphear was depressed, had problems at work and suffered failed relationships.

But the judge said Lanphear had been viewing pornography involving men and bondage and that he believed the crimes were planned.

"I think you were a time bomb waiting to go off," Potter told Lanphear.

By pleading no contest to two counts of kidnapping and two counts of first-degree sexual assault, Lanphear did not admit guilt but conceded there was enough evidence for judge to convict him.

The 23-year-old victim testified that Lanphear offered him a ride as he sat on a curb July 4. The man said Lanphear identified himself as a police officer, handcuffed him and hit him on the back of a head with a flashlight.

Lanphear kept him in chains at the home, telling him that a string connected the chains to a gun, the man said. If the man tried to escape, "I wouldn't like the consequences," he quoted Lanphear as telling him.

The 22-year-old said he got drunk at a bar, passed out in his truck and awoke July 8 to find someone trying to restrain him. He was blindfolded and driven away in another vehicle. He told investigators he looked under the blindfold and recognized Lanphear from the bar.

The man said he escaped later that day after he asked Lanphear for a cigarette and Lanphear left to buy some. The man said he used his chained feet to pull a ladder toward him, climbed it and freed the chain that had him tied to the ceiling in a garage.

He ran naked, chains dangling from his wrists and ankles, to a neighbor and called police, he testified.