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Former Waukesha sex shop owner receives 35-year sentence

Dec. 22, 2009

By Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Dec. 22, 2009 0

Waukesha — A registered sex offender who preyed on troubled teens and lured them into a life of sex and drugs through his shop Twisted was sentenced Tuesday to 35 years in prison.

The sentence means that Scott E. Ziegler, 39, of Waukesha, likely won't get out of prison until he is a senior citizen.

"Every day he's off the streets makes it a healthier day for this community," Waukesha County Circuit Judge Ralph Ramirez said as he sentenced Ziegler.

Ziegler ran the now-closed Twisted store in downtown Waukesha. It sold sex toys, pornography and drug paraphernalia and had become a hangout for teens.

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel said Ziegler used the shop to identify vulnerable young women and then took them to his residence, where he sexually assaulted them.

He called Ziegler a predator and argued for a lengthy prison term.

"Mr. Ziegler has demonstrated that he is very dangerous," Schimel said. "If he is able any time in the near future to be back out in the community, I think we can be confident he will commit more crimes. He will cause more harm, more damage to young women and, for that matter, young men. . . . This court should put the defendant in prison for most of the balance of his natural life. He has harmed too many people; he has committed too much damage to our community."

Ziegler was convicted at a trial in October of sexually assaulting four girls, one repeatedly. All met him at his Twisted store.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, Ziegler harbored runaway girls in his Waukesha apartment in the 2000 block of MacArthur Road and gave the girls drugs and alcohol in exchange for sex.

He was arrested in January 2008 after police found him in a car with a girl who had run away. The girl, 14, was wearing a dog collar and leash. It was later determined that Ziegler repeatedly sexually assaulted the girl, according to court records.

At the time of his arrest, Ziegler was a lifetime registrant on the state's sex offender registry but no longer was under supervision, according to the registry. He pleaded no contest in September 1989 to arson and second-degree sexual assault involving a teen girl and was sentenced on the charges in December 1989.

Ziegler successfully completed his post-prison supervision in August 2006, according to state corrections records.

None of Ziegler's victims was in court Tuesday. They also did not submit statements to the judge.

No apology to victims

Ziegler made a statement before he was sentenced, but he did not apologize to his victims. He blamed drugs for his problems.

"I know I have a very serious drug problem. . . . If I hadn't been using drugs I wouldn't be standing before you today," Ziegler said.

Ramirez didn't buy into that excuse.

"It doesn't appear to me that these offenses were committed because Mr. Ziegler used alcohol and drugs," the judge said.

Ziegler was ordered to serve 20 years of extended supervision when he is released from prison.

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