A 49-year-old Eau Claire man is accused of sexually assaulting and severely beating a woman in her home.
Stephen B. Roberts, 1524 Jensen Road, has been charged in Eau Claire County Court with nine felonies: three counts of bail jumping; two counts each of second-degree sexual assault and intimidation of a victim; and one count each of substantial battery and battery.
Roberts also is charged with five misdemeanors: three counts of bail jumping and one count each of battery and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Roberts made his initial court appearance Tuesday, and Judge Jon Theisen set his bail at $25,000 cash and ordered him to have no contact with the victim and not to use or possess weapons.
According to the criminal complaint:
At 1:37 p.m. Sunday, Eau Claire police officers were sent to a residence on Forest Street after a woman called 911 and whispered “help me” before the call ended. When an officer knocked on the door, he heard a female yell to come in. The door was locked, so he asked her to come to the door, and he heard her yell “help” twice.
Officers forced the door open and found Roberts and a woman with significant bruising lying on a bed in a bedroom.
The woman later told officers she woke up Friday and found Roberts on top of her, sexually assaulting her. She said she told him to stop but he wouldn’t. She said she was too scared to fight back.
Roberts, whom the woman had met in August, later punched her spine several times and grabbed her face so neighbors wouldn’t hear her whimpering.
Roberts was still at her apartment when she arrived home after work on Friday, and she took him to Kwik Trip, after she declined to buy heroin for him, to buy alcohol. That night, she said, Roberts hit her multiple times, took her phone and told her not to call the police because he would go to prison.
On Saturday, the woman told police Roberts left for a bit, and she lay in bed and couldn’t move very well. When he came back, he burned her hand with a cigarette and asked her to buy him drugs again. She didn’t, but she took him to Kwik Trip to get alcohol. Throughout the evening, Roberts hit her with a closed fist.
On Sunday, Roberts saw the bruises all over her, the woman told police. He gave her some melatonin and ibuprofen and told her she had to get better fast. She said he started to drink, and she knew this was a warning. When he was sleeping, she sneaked out of bed, found her phone, charged it for a few minutes and went back to bed.
A little while later, he awoke and walked out of the bedroom, and she went under the covers, called 911 and said she needed help.
During an interview with officers at the Eau Claire County Jail, Roberts said he and the woman date, they had consensual sex Friday night, and he came over on Sunday to help her and saw the bruises, but he didn’t know how she got them.
The woman suffered a fractured skull, brain bleed and broken ribs.
Roberts was arrested in October and charged with battery and disorderly conduct. As a condition of bond in that case, he was to have no contact with the woman or her residence and to make no threats of violence against her. Those conditions were removed in December, and the woman told police he randomly stopped by to see her at work.
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