Statutory rape caseload brisk in Douglas County
The year started with three statutory rape cases filed in Douglas County Circuit Court, one per week during the first three weeks of January. Wisconsin is one of 11 states where the age of consent is 18. That means that before a child turns 18, t...
The year started with three statutory rape cases filed in Douglas County Circuit Court, one per week during the first three weeks of January.
Wisconsin is one of 11 states where the age of consent is 18. That means that before a child turns 18, they cannot legally consent to sex. Sexual contact or intercourse with a person younger than 16 is likely to lead to a felony charge, according to District Attorney Dan Blank, while intercourse with a person age 16 or 17 who is not your spouse can lead to a misdemeanor charge.
There are a number of different crimes related to various types of sexual conduct involving minors, but Blank boiled it down to one statement.
"Any sexual anything with someone under age 16 could lead to a report, investigation, arrest and charge as a felony, regardless of consent or ‘relationship’ or mistake of age …" the district attorney said.
A statutory rape case was filed against Eugene Howard Olson, 38, of Superior on Jan. 5. He is facing misdemeanor sexual intercourse with a child.
According to the criminal complaint: He was known to the alleged 16-year-old victim and she referred to him as her "uncle." She told Superior police officers the two had sexual intercourse in December. The girl said she had sex with Olson because she wanted to have a baby.
"And I’m not a victim," she was quoted in the complaint. "I was in it just as much as he was."
Olson allegedly told officers that he flirted with the girl and had some sexual contact, but denied having sex with her. He was released on a $3,000 signature bond and his next court appearance is March 7.
On Jan. 14, a criminal complaint was filed against Austin Daniel Carmichael, 17, of Superior for felony repeated sexual assault of a child. He is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old on four or five occasions between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. The alleged victim told officers that she told the defendant "no" and to stop during an October incident, but that he did not, according to the complaint. Carmichael allegedly told officers that he recalled the 14-year-old said no, she didn’t want to have sex, but he kept pushing it on her until she gave in.
Carmichael was released on a $4,000 signature bond and ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim, her family or her residence. His next court appearance is Wednesday.
A criminal complaint was filed against Cody Ray Bodin, 19, of Superior on Jan. 21 for felony repeated sexual assault of a child.
According to the criminal complaint:
Bodin had sex with a 15-year-old girl about 15 times between July 1 and Dec. 22. The two met on Facebook and started dating. Bodin told Detective Mike Jaszczak that he was aware the alleged victim was 15 shortly after he met her. The alleged victim told Jaszczak the sex was consensual, and at no time did Bodin threaten her or force her to have sex.
Bodin was released on a $5,000 signature bond and ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or intentional unsupervised contact with minor females and not to use or possess any controlled substance or drug paraphernalia without a valid prescription. He waived a preliminary hearing Wednesday and his next court appearance is March 11.
It may seem odd that teens charged are facing felonies, while a 38-year-old faces only a misdemeanor charge, but Wisconsin has not enacted any "Romeo and Juliet" laws. Many states have, which reduces or eliminates the penalty of the crime in cases where the age difference between the couple is minor and they were willing participants.
Along with the age of the alleged victim, a number of key factors determine how a case is prosecuted, Blank said. He mentioned a few - power differential by age, status differences or "peer" pressure, verbal or emotional manipulation, the mental ability or maturity on both sides of equation, use of alcohol, marijuana or drugs, use of protection, and where and when the incident allegedly occurred.
The string of statutory rape cases come on the heels of another filed in December against Garrett Phillip Sullivan, 18. The teen was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Sullivan pleaded guilty Feb. 1 in Douglas County Circuit Court to felony sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age and misdemeanor charges of exposing genitals in a public area and intentionally contributing to the delinquency of a child.
He was sentenced to two years of probation for the misdemeanors and ordered to submit a DNA sample, undergo a psychosexual evaluation, have no contact with the victim or her family, and no unsupervised contact with minor females. A deferred judgment of conviction agreement was entered for the felony charge.
If Sullivan follows the conditions of his probation, stays out of trouble with the law and keeps his address updated with the Clerk of Courts Office, the charge would be dismissed in three years.