After keeping a teenage girl in sexual captivity for more than a year, Michael Wysolovski will not go to prison.
The 33-year-old Duluth man was sentenced to 10 years with eight months to serve in jail after pleading guilty to first-degree cruelty to children and interstate interference with custody Thursday afternoon. He received credit for the eight months he was held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center before receiving bond in February 2018. That means his prison time has already been accounted for and he will serve the remaining nine years and four months on probation and must register as a sex offender.
Wysolovski was arrested in June 2017 after FBI agents and Gwinnett County police found a 17-year-old North Carolina girl who had been missing for more than a year in his Duluth home. She was malnourished, had ringworm and suffered from back problems because she had been repeatedly been held in a dog cage, her father said in a victim impact statement Thursday.
Wysolovski had been previously indicted on charges of rape, aggravated sodomy, cruelty to children, false imprisonment and interstate interference with custody.
He met the girl online when she was 15 through a forum for people with anorexia. She said she was unhappy at home and Wysolovski convinced her to come live with him. Once she was 16, the girl walked three miles from her Charlotte area home and met him on the side of an interstate. The victim spent much of her time with Wysolovski in a home in Decatur before they moved to Duluth.
Police found the victim after she tried to leave but Wysolovski would not let her, so she reached out to another person on an anorexia forum who contacted the FBI.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not releasing the victim’s name because she is a survivor of sexual assault.
The victim and Wysolovski agreed to enter a “consensual non-consensual” sexual relationship, a type of BDSM (bondage, domination, submission, masochism) relationship in which the partners agree to simulate non-consensual sex acts, prosecutor Michael DeTardo said during the plea hearing. Over time, Wysolovski violated the set boundaries for this arrangement, refusing to use “safe words” and using “excessive force” including biting and physical violence. The victim, who was anorexic, initially encouraged Wysolovski to control her eating habits and kept journals detailing her desire to lose weight, DeTardo said. Wysolovski later used food to punish the victim or force her to perform sexual acts.
Because the victim was 16 at the time of the alleged sexual abuse, Wysolovski could not be charged with child molestation or similar charges. Georgia’s age of consent is 16. Child cruelty charges can be applied for crimes committed against people 17 and younger.
While the rape and aggravated sodomy charges were dropped in the plea deal, Wysolovski still must register as a sex offender. The specific child cruelty charge he pleaded to specified that the cruelty was caused by “excessive physical pain during sexual intercourse.”
DeTardo said the nature of the relationship between Wysolovski and the victim lived in a “gray area” of consent that would be risky if put to a jury. While DeTardo believed Wysolovski was “dead to rights” on the interference with custody charge, the maximum sentence was five years in prison with no requirement to register as a sex offender. The victim’s family and DeTardo prioritized a required sex offender registration. With this plea, Wysolovski must register as a sex offender for life.
Wysolovski’s attorney also would not have accepted a plea deal including prison time, forcing the case to go to trial, DeTardo said. The victim and her family also said they did not want to go through the potentially re-traumatizing process of a trial.
“She would be attacked again by you and your attorney,” the victim’s father said in his victim impact statement.
Wysolovski told Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil that he thought he was “helping” the victim escape a bad home situation, but offered little more than shrugs and clipped sentences when questioned. Hamil declined Wysolovski’s request for first offender status, which would have erased the plea from his criminal record if the sentence was successfully completed.
“I can’t see even the most twisted definition of what you did as help … I don’t see any emotion from you. I don’t see any remorse from you,” Hamil said. “I am not moved to give you first offender status … In my time on the bench I can count on both hands the time I’ve refused to give someone first offender status – but there’s something inside me that says this is one of those times.”
The victim had numerous mental health disorders before being held by Wysolovski, and she has received additional diagnoses and suffered more severe symptoms since returning home. Clutching a stuffed animal and speaking in a soft voice, the victim detailed her “irreparably broken spirit and sense of self,” a fear of showering and rain because of alleged “water torture” Wysolovski inflicted upon her and obsessively checking locks and other elements of her environment to ensure she is safe.
“The psychological damage Michael Wysolovski inflicted is beyond imagination,” she said.