Reported car theft leads to child enticement charge

The alleged victim, 14, was pulled over driving the car, the criminal complaint said.

Douglas County, Wis., Courtroom
Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wisconsin.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR —A stolen vehicle report in Superior resulted in a child enticement charge against the Ashland man who reported the theft.

Joshua Trent Holly, 37, of Ashland, faces felony counts of use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and child enticement. He made his initial appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court May 18.

Holly, Joshua Trent.jpeg
Joshua Trent Holly
Contributed / Douglas County Jail

A $10,000 cash bond was set for Holly, and he was ordered to have no contact with minors or the victim’s residence. He remained in custody at the Douglas County Jail May 26.

Holly reported his vehicle stolen at 6:39 p.m. May 16. He told Superior Police Officer David Dalbec that he had met a person on a dating app and they set up a meeting in Superior. Later investigation revealed that person was 14 years old, according to the criminal complaint.

The two met in Superior and went to a hotel in Proctor for sexual activity, Holly reportedly told Dalbec, then drove to a gas station in Superior for donuts and cigars. When Holly exited the store, the teen was backing the car out and struck the Ashland man when he ran in front of it, according to the complaint.


The vehicle and the 14-year-old victim were located south of Superior. Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Justin McIntosh initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, but the teen drove away at speeds close to 100 mph before the vehicle was disabled by On-Star, according to the complaint.

The victim reportedly told Dalbec they were communicating with Holly on Snapchat and the Ashland man had them download a dating app. The Ashland man reportedly asked the teen’s age and the teen told him 15, according to the complaint.

Holly picked the victim up about a block away from their residence in Superior, according to the complaint. The teen denied that any sexual contact took place, but said they became uncomfortable when Holly tried to touch their leg while driving and asked to stop at the Kwik Trip. The teen then drove off in the vehicle.

“I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do cuz he was just acting weird. I just didn’t want to be in this situation,” the victim reportedly told Detective Russ Milroy with the Superior Police Department.

When Milroy told Holly the victim was 14, the Ashland man said that the victim’s profile on the dating app listed them as 23.

Use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime, a class C felony, carries a maximum penalty of 40 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000. The child enticement count is punishable by up to 25 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. Holly’s next court appearance was set for June 6.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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