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Jailer gets 30 years for sexually assaulting inmates

A Polk County jailer will spend 30 years in prison for sexually assaulting women held in his custody.

Darryl L. Christensen, 49, of New Richmond, Wis., was sentenced Monday on five counts of second-degree sexual assault by a correctional staff member, according to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Christensen pleaded guilty to all five counts Nov. 30 and was sentenced Monday by Washburn County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Harrington to 60 years of imprisonment — 30 years in prison and 30 years extended supervision.

According to the criminal complaint:

Christensen has sexual contact with five women incarcerated in the Polk County Jail in Balsam Lake between 2011 and 2014. Two of the women were victimized repeatedly while serving more than one period of incarceration at the county jail, most incidents occurring in a maximum security section of the jail, which was not monitored by security cameras. One incident reported occurred at the Polk County Courthouse out of range of security cameras.

One woman, identified only by initials, told Special Agent Joseph Welsch of the Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation that she felt obligated to accept the sexual contact; she felt "powerless."

Two of the women reported Christensen asked them to get naked and put on a "show" for him, and others reported that he would command their attention as he masturbated.

Another woman reported multiple sexual encounters during two periods of incarceration.

The women’s accounts of the incidents were substantiated by records maintained by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and security footage from the courthouse that showed Christensen and one of the victims vanishing then reappearing minutes later on the security camera as they left a courtroom.

Schimel credits the successful prosecution of the case to Welsch, who investigated the allegations, and Assistant Attorney General Robert Kaiser, who served as a special prosecutor in the case.

Superior Telegram