A Chicago-area man was sentenced Wednesday to five years of probation for traveling to Madison for a sexual encounter with a teenager in 2015.

Daniel Karpinski, 25, of Carpentersville, Illinois, who pleaded no contest in July to third-degree sexual assault and child enticement, said he will be “sorry for the rest of my life” for what happened at a hotel room in Downtown Madison on Dec. 8, 2015, when he said he decided to have sex with a 14-year-old girl he had met through social media, despite knowing her age.

A state Department of Corrections pre-sentence report recommended time in prison for Karpinski, Assistant District Attorney Allison Cogbill asked for five years of probation with a year in jail, and Karpinski’s lawyer, David Saperstein, asked for probation with no jail.

Saperstein said that if Karpinski served time in jail, he would lose his job in Illinois and it would be difficult for a sex offender like Karpinski to find another job.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Ellen Berz said that from what she read about the girl in materials submitted to her, she has a very promising future, but her family has been burdened by the cost of therapy that’s been required since the incident with Karpinski occurred.

The sentence she gave Karpinski, Berz said, would assure that Karpinski continues to earn a salary and the ability to pay restitution to the girl’s family, allowing her to stay in therapy and fulfill her promise as she grows into adulthood. An exact restitution figure will be set at a later date, Berz said.

Berz ordered a year in jail as a condition of Karpinski’s probation, but ordered that the jail time be stayed so that he can continue to work at his job in Illinois. She noted that if jailed here, Karpinski would be allowed work release to take a job here, but the girl had said she hoped he would not stay near Madison. She did not ask that he be sent to prison.

If Karpinski chooses not to participate in sex offender treatment as required or make restitution payments, Berz said, he would serve the jail time. And the prison time recommended by DOC would also be a good possibility if Karpinski’s probation is ever revoked, she said.

“I don’t want to see you again,” she told him.

According to a criminal complaint, the girl told police that she had met Karpinski through social media on Dec. 7, 2015, and that she had initially listed her age as being 18 or 19, but later told Karpinski that she was 14. He later picked her up near her home and took her to the Hyatt Place Hotel, 333 W. Washington Ave.

Karpinski said in court that he didn’t know her actual age until they were in the hotel room, but he did not end the encounter at that point.


Ed Treleven is the courts reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.