By Brandi Makuski
A 17-year-old from Plover accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl at the Stevens Point YMCA will appear in Portage Co. Circuit Court on Monday.
Jerry Washington was charged with one count of first-degree child sexual assault/intercourse with person under 16 by use of threat, force or violence and one count of false imprisonment, both felonies, after police were called to the YMCA, 1000 Division St., to investigate a reported sexual assault on Jan. 29.
The girl who made the complaint said she was in the downstairs workout area between 7 PM and 8 PM when Washington allegedly grabbed her hair and “dragged” her into a bathroom near the Teen Night room. Washington locked himself and the girl in a stall furthest from the door, where she claims he assaulted her, according to the complaint. The girl told police she said “no” several times and began to yell for help, but Washington told her not to “snitch”.
Both Washington and the girl were visiting the facility from two different group homes in the area, and were supposed to have been chaperoned at all times.
In an interview with police, Washington admitted he did grab the girl’s hair but that he was “only playing”, and said he and the girl wound up in the gymnastics room. He initially denied going into the bathroom with the girl, according to the complaint, but later said they went into the bathroom to talk for “about 30 seconds”, then changed his statement to “a few minutes”.
An acquaintance of Washington’s told police he witnessed Washington pull the girl’s hair, and also heard her call to a friend for help as she was being taken into the bathroom. Washington had previously told the acquaintance he was going to have sex with the girl that night. It was not clear in the complaint why the acquaintance did not intervene.
Police also interviewed two adults in the building, who said the YMCA’s security cameras captured Washington pulling the girl into the bathroom and. The girl appeared to be struggling on the video, they said.
If convicted Washington faces up to 66 years in prison. He appears before Judge Thomas Flugaur for a pre-trial conference on Monday, March 14 at 9 AM.