By Brandi Makuski
The lawyer for a teenage boy accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl during a house party last October says she wants the case dismissed.
Joseph Butler, 17 of Stevens Point, admitted to having sex twice with a 16-year-old girl who had passed out “a couple of times” during a party on the 3000 block of Minnesota Ave. on Oct. 11, 2015, according to the criminal complaint.
Butler and his lawyer, Anne Renc, were in Portage Co. Circuit Court on Monday, where he waived his preliminary hearing.
According to Renc, the incident occurred about one week before Butler turned 17, and he should not have been tried in adult court. Renc also claims prosecutors intentionally delayed filing charges against Butler so he could be tried as an adult.
The girl, who was 16 at the time, was seen the following morning at Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital, at time which the police were notified. She told police she’d been drinking cherry-flavored vodka at the party, and when she woke the next morning her arms and pubic region were sore. She told police she couldn’t remember everything that happened the night before, but did remember saying, “no, no”, according to the complaint.
Witnesses from the party told police the girl was seen stumbling and falling as she tried to walk, hitting her head on the ground at one point. She was later carried into a bathroom because she was sick, and later taken to a bedroom to sleep, where a friend at the party thought she had locked the door.
Witnesses later told police Butler and another boy were seen trying to convince a third boy to enter with them into the room where the girl was passed out.
Another boy claims he had sex with the girl “for 10 seconds”, then exited the room and high-fived Butler before Butler went into the girl’s room, according to the complaint.
Butler, who also was 16 at the time of the party, also admitted to taking the girl’s car while she was asleep along with another boy, according to the complaint, sometime between midnight and 3 AM. Butler told police the other boy, who was identified in the complaint only by his initials, drove the car recklessly by “speeding, taking corners fast and being an idiot”. Butler maintains he was only a passenger in the car, alleging the engine was “smoking” when they returned the vehicle.
The girl discovered Butler’s SPASH identification card in her vehicle the following day.
Butler was released on a $2,500 signature bond by Court Commissioner David Worzalla. Butler stands charged with second-degree sexual assault, a felony which carries up to 40 years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines; and operating a vehicle without the owner’s permission, a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
He returns to court Aug. 18, when Judge Thomas Fluguar will decide whether or not to dismiss the case.