Saturday, July 21, 2018

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Man accused of groping co-worker

He also faces charge of child porn possession

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An Eau Claire man is accused of groping a female co-worker for the past year and showing the woman and another co-worker a pornographic video involving a young child.

Charles Purnell, 59, 1025 W. MacArthur Ave., was charged Tuesday in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of possession of child pornography and two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

According to the criminal complaint:

A woman called police Friday to report that Purnell, her co-worker at Wendy’s on West Clairemont Avenue, grabbed her several times and also showed her a pornographic video that included children.

The woman said she has worked at Wendy’s for four years and that Purnell has been groping her without her consent for the past year.

On one occasion Thursday, Purnell came in from outside and grabbed and squeezed the woman’s buttocks for several seconds, saying that he needed to warm up his hands.

On another occasion in November, Purnell approached the woman from behind, stuck his hands down the front of her shirt and fondled her breasts for several seconds.

He continued the fondling even after she told him he was hurting her.

A third incident involved Purnell twice kissing the woman on the neck.

The woman said the groping by Purnell has occurred an average of twice a week for the past year. She said she is afraid of him and tries to avoid him as much as possible.

Purnell on Thursday also showed the woman a sexually explicit video on his cellphone involving a young male child.

The woman said Purnell also showed the video to a 17-year-old female co-worker.

Purnell told a police officer that all of his interactions with the woman were consensual.

The officer seized Purnell’s cellphone after Purnell showed the officer the video involving the young male child.

If convicted of the felony charge, Purnell could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com 


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