A former Ashland man accused of sexually assaulting a child waived his preliminary hearing in Ashland County Circuit Court Jan. 7.
Matthew J. Eschke, 34, whose address was changed to Cornucopia in December, faces felony counts of repeated sexual assault of a child, child enticement and two counts of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age.
According to the complaint, Eschke enticed the female into engaging in sexual activity. Police were alerted by a CyberTip Report from the Wisconsin Department of Justice that included a Facebook conversation between Eschke and the girl that discussed sexual activity.
Eschke had known the reported victim for a few years, according to the complaint, and had started having sex with her about a month earlier. The assaults took place at his home, and he reportedly told the girl he wanted her to get pregnant.
Cash bond of $500 and a $10,000 signature bond were set for Eschke, and he was ordered to have no contact with the reported victim and no unsupervised contact with any females under age 18.
The sex assault charges and repeated sex assault charge each carry a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. If convicted of child enticement, Eschke would face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Because the charges are serious sex offenses, the state would seek to place the defendant on lifetime sex offender supervision if he is convicted.
Eschke’s next court appearance is set for Jan. 27.