EAU CLAIRE — A 42-year-old Onalaska man will spend 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in April inside her Eau Claire home.
Robert B. Smith was sentenced recently in Eau Claire County Court for two felony counts each of stalking and bail jumping, felony counts of strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment, second-degree sexual assault and violating a no contact court order, and a misdemeanor count of battery.
An Eau Claire County jury convicted Smith of the nine charges following an August trial.
Judge Michael Schumacher ordered Smith to spend four years on extended supervision following his release from prison.
As conditions of supervision, Smith cannot have contact with the victim, drink alcohol or enter taverns. He must also comply with the sex offender registry and undergo any recommended programming or treatment.
Smith was fined $1,584.
According to the criminal complaint:
A woman who knew Smith called police in the early hours of April 27 because he had been outside her house and attempted to get in twice overnight. He was unable to get inside that night, but the woman told police that Smith had broken in earlier that week and sexually assaulted her.
The woman told police that Smith emerged from her bedroom closet as she was getting ready for bed on the night of April 25.
He slapped, punched, strangled and threatened her multiple times. Police officers observed bruises on the woman’s forehead and neck that appeared to corroborate her account.
Smith used a bathrobe string to tie the woman’s hands, and sexually assaulted her twice that night. He then took a shower and left the house at about 3:30 a.m. on April 26.
After taking the woman’s report on April 27, an Eau Claire police detective called Smith on the phone. Smith said he was sleeping at the time the woman said he was trying to get into her house.
He also claimed he was at work when the detective called, but Smith’s employer later said he’d not shown up for work that day.
Chippewa County sheriff’s deputies arrested Smith at a family member’s home.
Smith had previously been convicted in September 2020 of stalking and intimidating a victim — the same woman he’s been found guilty of sexually assaulting. He was out on probation for that case, which included the condition he have no contact with the woman.
Smith returns to court Jan. 4 for an unrelated case stemming from an Aug. 7 fight with another inmate at the Eau Claire County Jail. He is charged with a felony count of battery by prisoners in that case.