By Jacob Mathias
A Stevens Point man faces hefty fines and over 10 years in jail after allegedly choking his girlfriend and dumping oatmeal on her head.
Eugene Gignac, 38, is charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, a felony for which he could see up to a $25,000 fine, 10 years imprisonment or both if convicted. As a repeat offender with a conviction of possession with intent to deliver amphetamines, he could have an additional four years imprisonment added to his punishment.
A misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge also levies a punishment of up to a $1,000 fine, 90 days in jail or both. An additional two years imprisonment can be added to this sentence as well.
The defendant made his initial appearance in Portage County Circuit Court via video on June 20. A $1,000 cash bond has been set for Gignac but has not been paid.
According to court documents, police responded to the 1700 block of Elk St. on May 27 to assist a woman in retrieving her personal items from the house. She said she was afraid to go alone because she thought her husband, Gignac, might harm her.
As the woman was retrieving her belongings, officers noticed oatmeal scattered on the floor of the bedroom. The woman reported Gignac had dumped oatmeal on her earlier during an argument. Police asked the woman to return to the police station with them and answer questions.
According to the criminal complaint, the woman reported that at about 6:30 that evening she had been shopping with Gignac and another man. She had entered a store without Gignac and when she returned he had left the car and began walking home. The other man in the vehicle drove the woman home. Gignac had not returned.
The woman said she then fixed herself something to eat and was watching a movie in her bedroom when the defendant returned.
When Gignac returned he was angry and accused the woman of being unfaithful. He grabbed her by the throat and squeezed, then pushing her down and the bed and taking her phone from the woman’s pocket.
Gignac then released the woman go but continued calling her names.
The defendant then returned to the bedroom and dumped a tub of oatmeal on the victim’s head. Police officers noted oatmeal still in the victim’s hair.
The victim said she feared Gignac would seriously harm or kill her if she stayed with him.
After the police interview, the victim returned to her apartment and called police again to report that Gignac was present. Police arrived, entered the residence and arrested the defendant.
When questioned by police, Gignac claimed the victim had a drug problem and he was trying to to help her deal with it. He also claimed another man was helping the victim get drugs and she was having sex with him.
He said on the night of the incident he had returned home and looked through the victim’s phone. This angry and she allegedly threw a toaster at Gignac’s head. He also alleged the victim head-butted him.
According to the criminal complaint, police were unable to find any signs of his self-defense claims.
Gignac returns to court on June 27 at 3 PM for a preliminary hearing.