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2 Wisconsin rape cases, same alleged teen victim

Many Milwaukee parents would find it highly inappropriate for an adult camp counselor to share the same bunk with a young camper under any circumstances. With or without the commission of a sex crime, the counselor's legal position could be precarious simply for sharing the same intimate space as a minor.

A University of Wisconsin chemistry professor was charged recently with the sexual assault of a child under 16. According to the 14-year-old girl and the accused man, the pair slept in the same bed at the defendant's La Crosse home during an overnight stay. The story about that experience told by the girl in no way resembled what the 47-year-old man said happened.

The professor was accused of kissing, touching and having oral sex with the teen in mid-June the night before a birthday party. Several other children also were in the house. The defendant did not dispute he was in the same bed but denied any sexual misconduct.

The university chose to cancel the associate professor's summer chemistry program in the wake of the scandal. The man was not fired. He was ordered to stay off campus until the case is resolved.

Oddly, the same teen is the alleged victim in another rape case. La Crosse police filed charges in early July against a 45-year-old man with whom the girl said she had sexual relationship.

The teen apparently confessed to a pastor, who in turn told police, she had sex with the defendant multiple times during their 16-month relationship. The man reportedly controlled her with promises and religious claims the two were "meant" for one another. The second man made no statements to authorities at the time of his arrest.

Evidence must support criminal charges for prosecutors to win a case. A criminal defense attorney can question the truth of an alleged victim's claims to create reasonable doubt a crime was committed.

Source: LaCrosse Tribune, "UW-L professor accused of raping 14-year-old," Nathan Hansen, July 23, 2015

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