CHIPPEWA FALLS — A Chippewa Falls man accused of wrapping a seat belt around his girlfriend’s neck until she couldn’t breathe, later forcing her to have sex with him and then refusing to let her leave their apartment waived his preliminary hearing Thursday in Chippewa County Court.
Steven M. Bowe, 37, 912 Pearl St., is charged with second-degree sexual assault by use of force, strangulation and suffocation, and false imprisonment.
Thursday’s hearing was scheduled to be a plea hearing, but defense attorney Charles Huff informed Judge Steve Cray they were close to a plea agreement but his client wasn’t prepared to enter a plea. Instead, Bowe waived a preliminary hearing so the case can proceed toward trial; no dates were set Thursday.
According to the criminal complaint:
The assault occurred on Jan. 19. Bowe and his 24-year-old girlfriend got into an argument in a car, and he “grabbed the seat belt and wrapped it around her neck and began choking her.” The officer who interviewed the victim could see the red abrasion marks on her neck.
Bowe and the victim later returned to the home they shared on Wheaton Street, where he forced her to have sex with him. The next day she informed Bowe their relationship was over, and she tried to leave the home. Bowe climbed on the hood of her car and began hitting it hard enough that he split his knuckle open. The officer observed smear marks and handprints on the hood of the car that matched the victim’s description of the incident.
A victim impact statement filed with the court describes Bowe as a “psychotic, violent individual.” The victim recommended Bowe be required to complete anger management treatment as well as a jail sentence.
Online records show Bowe has been convicted of disorderly conduct three times as well as obstructing an officer.
In 2001, Bowe was charged with substantial battery intentionally causing bodily harm and second-degree child sexual assault, but both of those charges were dismissed.