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Trial begins for Vilas County man accused of sexual assaultSubmitted: 04/24/2017
VILAS COUNTY - Twelve jurors will consider a he said, she said case involving accusations of a sexual assault at knife point.

The trial for 36-year-old Rodney Teets began in Vilas County Court Monday morning.

Teets is accused of sexually assualting a 19 year old woman at knife point in July 2015.

He faces three counts of first degree sexual assault, which he will try to fight in trial.

After several hours of jury selection, attorneys began their opening statements Monday afternoon.

According to the July 2015 criminal complaint, Teets and the woman involved were driving back to his house after watching fireworks with a group of people.

That's when the woman said Teets pulled out a knife and told her to drive down a dead end road. Assistant Attorney General Devra Ayala, who is prosecuting the case, said that Teets admits to always carrying a pocket knife.

Next, according to the complaint, the woman said Teets, knife in hand, sexually assaulted her.

According to the complaint, the woman said Teets told her, "If you tell anyone I'll [expletive] kill you."

According to the complaint, the woman said the group they had been with called both of their cell phones asking where they were. The woman claims Teets said he forgot his keys and told her to say the same.

Later that night, the woman called the police.

When police interviewed Teets, he said the encounter was consensual.

That's what Teets's defense attorney will try to argue. In his opening statement, defense attorney Steven Lucareli said Teets and the woman were friends and often joked with each other.

"He said from day one, 'I cheated on my wife,'" said Lucareli.

Lucareli also said the woman in this case had no injuries from the encounter.

The trial is scheduled on the calendar for the whole week.

Tuesday, the state will start calling its witnesses.



Story By: Stephanie Haines

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