Armed sexual assault case moves forward against Eagle River man in Oneida County CourtSubmitted: 04/25/2018

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RHINELANDER - DNA evidence from a pair of sweatpants could link a Northwoods man to a violent sexual assault. Prosecutors offered up some of that evidence against Richard Loppnow in Oneida County court on Wednesday morning.

The victim accuses Loppnow, 38, of forcing her into several sexual activities twice on his property south of Eagle River back on October 28 and 29th of 2017.  

The criminal complaint shows the first assault happened in a building on Loppnow's property.  Testimony revealed claims that Loppnow held a gun to the victim's head.

"[Loppnow was] advising that she could either be humiliated or shot in the head," Oneida County Detective Sergeant Ryan Rossing testified.  "She chose to be humiliated due to not wanting to be harmed."

After later moving to a mobile home trailer on the property, the victim claims Loppnow pointed a sawed-off shotgun or handgun to her head and gave her several options.

"The victim was told that she could either have sex with Mr. Loppnow, be gang raped, or her boyfriend would be killed," Rossing testified during Wednesday's preliminary hearing.

The criminal complaint shows Loppnow told the victim there were gang members watching them. After the assaults, prosecutors say Loppnow got emotional and pointed a gun at his own head before again threatening the victim.

Rossing testified the state crime lab tested the victim's sweatpants after semen was found on the clothing.

"There was a hit from the DNA profile that identified Richard Scott Loppnow," Rossing said.

Loppnow's attorney, Mary Roth Burns, questioned why the victim waited two days to go to a hospital or call police after the alleged assaults.  Roth Burns also questioned why the victim's boyfriend, who was on the property at the time, didn't do anything to stop the assaults.

"If he were to get out of the vehicle, there was a potential that he could be harmed or shot," Rossing responded.

Roth Burns asked Rossing why the victim and her boyfriend were on Loppnow's property to begin with.  Rossing said one explanation was for buying or selling drugs.  Loppnow told detectives he had prescription pills to sell.  Loppnow apparently admitted to officers that the victim and her boyfriend were on his property, but said no sexual assaults took place.

Wednesday, Roth Burns also asked Judge Michael Bloom to reduce her client's $25,000 cash bail to $10,000 or even $15,000, as Loppnow's family cannot afford to pay the full bail.  Bloom denied the request.

Bloom found enough evidence to move the case forward. Loppnow will enter his plea to the pair of first-degree sexual assault with use of a dangerous weapon on May 14. He faces more than 100 years in prison if convicted.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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