Four friends of a man accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman last fall have been charged with making up a story that concealed crucial details of the alleged crime.
Zachary A. Jocelyn, 21, Eric J. Nicholas, 21, Dylan M. Ott, 21, and Jacob F. Radtke, 22, all of 214 Chippewa St., were charged Monday with harboring or aiding a felon.
Harboring or aiding a felon is a felony charge that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison or a $25,000 fine.
The four are out on signature bonds, which carry the condition that they not discuss the case with each other while it is pending.
According to the criminal complaint, the four men told similar stories about the whereabouts of their friend, Blaine A. Bauer, 22, on the night where a woman reported a sexual assault. Bauer and his friends said he was not part of their group on Nov. 10 that went to an Eau Claire tavern and met a woman who went back to a house on Water Street.
Bauer, who lives in Crivitz, Minn., told a police detective in June that the group talked on the app SnapChat about an alibi that he was home that night because he was on probation and should not have been at a bar. However, Bauer was adamant that sexual assault was not part of the discussion.
Bauer is charged with second-degree sexual assault and obstructing an officer, a case that is still pending in Eau Claire County Court.
A police detective stated that the false story told by Bauer and the four others led police to photograph a bedroom not tied to the assault and allowed the disappearance of potential evidence, such as the woman's missing bra, from the actual crime scene.