MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - In Wisconsin, you get a tougher penalty for soliciting sex online with a minor, than for actually having that sex.
A lawyer for a suburban Milwaukee defendant says that's unfair -- and he'll challenge the stronger penalty if he's convicted.
55-year-old James Heidke worked as a contracted food service director at the Whitnall School District, when he allegedly texted and e-mailed whom he thought was a 15-year-old boy to arrange sex.
When they met, the teen was actually a Milwaukee police officer who arrested Heidke for using a computer to facilitate a sex crime.
State lawmakers said they were tired of seeing defendants get probation for those crimes -- so last year, they required a mandatory five-year prison term as a penalty enhancer for soliciting child sex online.
Heidke's lawyer, Michael Hart, says that if his client actually had sex with the youngster, there was a good chance he'd stay out of prison. Therefore, Hart says the penalty for planning sex is higher than for actually doing it -- and he wants the penalty enhancer dropped.
Prosecutors justify the higher penalty. They say that soliciting sex is a more calculated and predatory act -- while the actual sex could come from a moment of human weakness.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Borowski will decide the issue of the penalty enhancer next month.