In 2017, Jay Perez was charged with five felonies--first degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 12, incest, and child enticement--in connection with the repeated sexual assault of his adopted sister when she was between five and six years old.
The horrifying details were discovered when the girl's diary was found years later.
"I think there is something I need to tell mom, dad [and my siblings] because it's not okay and even though it happened a while back it's still not okay," she wrote. "When we used to live at the farm house & mom and dad would leave & Jay would babysit us He would lock me in his room and basically make me have sex with him."
According to the girl, Prez would leave their four year-old autistic brother crying outside the door.
For years, Perez was able to keep both children quiet through repeated threats that the girl would be taken away from the family that adopted her. His abuse terrorized her for years, eventually causing so much anxiety and depression that she stopped going to school and began harming herself.
When his horrendous crimes finally came to light, Perez was tried and found guilty of all five counts against him. He faced a maximum sentence of 225 years in prison.
He never once admitted his guilt and, throughout the proceedings, blamed the victim--his sister--and his mother for his conviction.
Ahead of his sentencing hearing, the Dane County District Attorney's Office recommended 25 years in prison followed by 20 years of extended supervision.
Instead, Judge Jill Karofsky sentenced Perez to just 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of extended supervision. Even though, Karofsky herself admitted that "it really doesn't get much graver" than Perez's offenses, she gave him the absolute minimum sentence that she legally could.