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Goetsch Gets Jail TimeSubmitted: 02/14/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - Prosecutors presented boxes and binders full of nude videos and photos in court Thursday.

That was after an 82-year-old Three Lakes man pleaded guilty to secretly capturing the images.

Elmer Goetsch used to be an active member of the Oneida County Community.

But for the next six months, he'll be spending his days in jail.


Goetsch pleaded guilty to hiding cameras in his home to film the summer interns he hosted in the nude.

Goetsch did everything from sitting on the Oneida County Board of Adjustment to hosting a classical music show on public radio.

But prosecutors said for at LEAST 15 years, he'd been taking nude pictures and videos of minors in his house.

"One of the reasons I'm speaking is so that this will never happen to another mother's son, and so no family or child will have to go through the hell we've been through this summer because of the blatant disregard for another's privacy," said Lisa Olson, the mother of one of the victims.

Goetsch had not only taken, but also carefully catalogued, tape upon tape, and picture upon picture, of boys and girls in his home.

"In shame, I stand here to admit to all that I did something drastically wrong, and broke the law by doing it. How wrong I was," said Goetsch

Goetsch's sentence also includes writing apology letters to the two teenage boys he filmed in this case.

"I just took a few moments to review the photo albums. One word came through my mind, and it was 'disgusting'," said Judge Jay Tlusty.

Judge Jay Tlusty told the 82-year-old he's the oldest felon he can remember in his courtroom.

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The two-day trial for Mark Spietz, 39, of Kaukauna, finished up Thursday afternoon, following a morning of the defense arguing it was all part of Spietz's job.

Spietz was a contract worker for a company called TruAssets, which secures abandoned or foreclosed homes throughout the country. The company is based in Arizona.

On Thursday, Spietz testified that in September and October, he took ATVs, bows, a John Deere tractor, a trailer and Jennifer Ayers' purse from the house to try and secure it for his employer.

"My experience with the work order is that it is our job to make sure the property is secured," Spietz said. "Obviously if I can open the doors and get into it, anybody can open the doors and get into it. So I ended up removing the ATVs with the trailer and them bringing them back to Kaukauna to lock up in my storage facility where they would be under lock and key for the future for whatever the bank decided they wanted to do with their property."

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But the state argued Thursday he technically didn't have permission from the company to be at the house after the first visit. Oneida County District Attorney Mike Schiek presented Spietz with the original work order form TruAssets assigned him. The document specifically stated not to remove any personal property from the house, and that contract workers should submit a bid for the property if they do take it from the house.

Schiek then argued Spietz specifically targeted the empty house because he knew its owners were dead.

"Looking back, what did you think you saw?" Schiek asked Spietz during his cross examination.

"Couple spots on the floor, large, dark spots," Spietz responded.

"Knowing what you know now, do you know what that was?" Schiek asked.

"To the best of my knowledge that's where they were killed," Spietz replied.

Spietz's attorney Brian Bennett said since Spietz is not from the area, he wouldn't have known the homicides happened at the house. He argued there was no sign saying no trespassing, nor had he had any knowledge the house was in probate.

"He used his best judgment based on his experience," Bennett said during his closing argument. "Which makes him quite possibly, if he's a burglar, the worst burglar in the world."

Bennett added Spietz gets little supervision from TruAssets, as Spietz testified he has never met a person from the company.

"It seems like a burden to have to come up here, pick up the stuff, store it, mess around with it, hold onto the titles, make sure it doesn't get stolen," Bennett said during his closing argument. "That's not a jackpot, that's a burden." 

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