Button sentenced to 30 years for child sex assault

By Patrick Lynn

A Portage Co. man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for repeat sexual assault and possession of child pornography, with 230 days credit for time already served.

Jeremiah Button, 44, was also sentenced to 30 years of extended supervision by Judge Thomas Eagon on Thursday.

The victim in the case alleged Button would provide her with “monetary incentives,” and when she was older, marijuana, in exchange for sexual activity, which began in a Town of Belmont home when the girl was six years old and occurred as often as three times a week.

The girl is now 19, and during the Oct. 10 sentencing hearing told the judge she was still suffering from the abuse, with daily flashbacks, anxiety, and depression.

Button had been evading law enforcement for almost three-and-a-half years since failing to appear for court in 2016. He was found living in a makeshift bunker that had plumbing and electricity, near the Ice Age Trail in Marathon Co., in August.

District Attorney Louis Molepske said his office had evidence of roughly 10,000 pornographic images of children on a flash drive found during a 2016 search of Button’s home. Thirteen other felonies against Button, including charges of incest and additional counts of possession of child pornography, were dismissed but will be read-in for sentencing.

“I have no excuse for what I have done, nor can I explain it,” Button said during the hearing. “I’ll never forgive myself.”