EagleHerald Editor

MARINETTE—A Wallace man will serve less than a year in jail for having consensual sexual intercourse with a girl more than half his age in November of 2019. The girl drowned the next day in the Menominee River.

The victim’s family members say they aren’t pleased with the sentence, but the prosecution states the judge handed down the maximum sentence allowed.

Todd A. Ihander, 42, was sentenced Aug. 24 in Marinette County Circuit Court Branch 1. Judge Jane Sequin sentenced the defendant to nine months in jail for sexual intercourse with a child, age 16 or older, and 60 days in jail for alcohol sale to an intoxicated person. The sentences are consecutive for the two misdemeanors. Ihander also must register as a sex offender.

While sympathetic to the family members, Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow said Ihander received the maximum sentence based on what he could have been charged.

She added that Ihander had some prior convictions in Michigan for some “concerning behavior,” but that could not figure into the charges in this incident.

“He certainly is not a great guy,” she said. “The point I made at sentencing, to justify the maximum sentence in both (charges), is that she clearly was vulnerable and he took advantage of somebody that he should have been helping. He was 40 years old and she was a young girl. That never should have happened.”

According to the criminal complaint, Ihander had consensual sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old girl at a swimming area in the Town of Peshtigo on Nov. 8, 2019. They met on SnapChat, according to court records. The complaint states the girl drank hard alcohol, passed out in Ihander’s vehicle, and slept at his home.

The next morning, Nov. 9, Ihander bought the girl four cans of beer at the State Line Mini Mart in downtown Marinette, the complaint reads. The girl did not want to go home and she told Ihander she was going to drink the beer under the Interstate Bridge, according to Ihander in the complaint.

Ihander told investigators he had to get to work by 8 a.m. and the girl was going to go to the homeless shelter after she drank the beer, he said in the complaint.

Marinette County Sheriff’s Office detectives observed video footage taken at the entrance to Stephenson Island. They saw a girl matching the description of the victim walk under the bridge, the complaint states. About two hours later, at 10:16 a.m., the girl appears to come out of under the bridge and slips on some rocks, according to the complaint. She disappears from view and it is believed she went under the water and did not get out, the complaint reads.

The victim’s body was discovered on Nov. 19. An autopsy revealed she had drowned and an analysis by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab indicates that she had sexual intercourse with the defendant, according to the complaint.

“I’m very satisfied with the outcome because it’s what I could prove and quite frankly a lot of it was based on the defendant’s statement,” Morrow said. “Fortunately we were able to get the DNA and prove the sexual assault.”

She acknowledge that cases like this are extremely emotional and difficult for the loved ones of the victim.

Ihander is the brother of Gregory S. Ihander, who is in prison for the 2015 murder of his former girlfriend, Jolene Eichhorn. Another brother, Kevin M. Ihander, is serving time in prison for the sexual assault of a former girlfriend.