By Brandi Makuski
A charge of first-degree sexual assault has been filed against two Stevens Point men almost three years after the incident was first reported to police.
Adam C. Brandt and Joseph L. Horvath, both 23, were formally charged in Portage Co. Circuit Court on Feb. 3 after being accused of raping a woman in a Soo Marie Ave. home in 2014.
It took several months for detectives to arrange interviews with the defendants while building their case, according to the complaint, because both men were attending college outside of Wisconsin.
The victim also wasn’t ready to move forward with the case until recently, according to the Portage Co. District Attorney’s Office.
According to the complaint, Stevens Point police were called to Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital on May 15, 2014, after a woman, then 19, reported she’d been raped by the men, who she identified as Brandt and Horvath.
The woman, whose identity has been sealed by the court, told police she’d been invited to Horvath’s home on the night of May 14. As the three sat in a parked car outside the home, Brandt and Horvath exposed themselves and groped the woman from the front seat of the vehicle, according to the complaint, but stopped when she said no.
Some time later, the woman accompanied the men into Horvath’s home, the complaint says, where the three began watching television in Horvath’s bedroom. The two men started making lewd comments towards the woman, then began to remove her clothes. The woman said she resisted but was unable to get away, telling officers she “felt trapped by how they sat on either side of her”.
Eventually the men overpowered her, the complaint says, and took turns forcing oral sex and vaginal intercourse; at one point Horvath instructed Brandt to leave the room, after which Horvath allegedly continued to rape the woman.
Following the assault, the woman called her boyfriend, who took her to the emergency room for a sexual assault exam. The woman suffered trauma to various parts of her body, according to the complaint.
In followup interviews with police, the woman said Horvath had confronted her during the summer following the alleged rape, asking the woman to change her mind about reporting the assault, also saying, “You are such a beautiful girl, you can’t expect someone like me to stop.”
Horvath also allegedly apologized during a different encounter with the woman, the complaint says, saying he would “be willing to go to prison to show how sorry he was” for assaulting her.
When questioned by police, both men denied any involvement in the assault.
A DNA sample obtained from Horvath “matched as a major contributor to the male DNA found” from the woman’s sex assault exam, the complaint says, whereas Brandt’s DNA sample “excluded [Brandt] as a major contributor of DNA”.
Brandt, whose mugshot was not available, is free on a $10,000 signature bond and returns to court for his preliminary hearing on March 20. Horvath’s initial appearance is scheduled for March 6.