CHIPPEWA FALLS — A rural Colfax man was sentenced Monday to serve nine months in jail for sexually assaulting a juvenile boy in May 2015.
Joseph V. Schindler, 52, 4674 100th Ave. in the town of Howard, pleaded no contest in January in Chippewa County Court to child enticement-sexual contact and fourth-degree sexual assault. Schindler was originally charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child.
According to the criminal complaint, the boy told police the assault took place between April 1, 2015, and May 8, 2015 at the man’s home. Schindler inappropriately touched him in a sexual manner, he said. When interviewed by police, Schindler admitted to the sexual contact.
Judge James Isaacson ordered the jail sentence, along with six months of probation.He must report to the jail no later than Feb. 11. Isaacson said he received letters from more than 30 people, requesting leniency, but Isaacson said the charge was serious and warranted jail time.
Chippewa County district attorney Wade Newell recommended a minimum of nine months in jail and up to 18 months, with a requirement to not have any contact with the victim or his family. Newell said the victim and his family have moved to South Carolina.
"That time is fair and appropriate," Newell said. "This (assault) will create a lifetime of issues for this young boy. When this occurred in 2014, he was 14."
Schindler's friends and family testified about the volunteer work he does in the community. His sister said she's never seen him act inappropriately around juveniles. Newell said that shouldn't be a factor in the sentencing.
"You cannot wipe away criminal behavior by doing volunteer work," Newell said. "We still need to focus on why we are here today. You can't (do a sex crime) and just get probation."
Defense attorney Harry Hertel urged 30 to 60 days of incarceration, saying some jail time is warranted.
"I think there has to be a lesson learned," Hertel said.
Hertel also recommended probation and sex offender evaluation, saying the risk of another assault or danger to the community is low. He added that Schindler has no prior criminal record.