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Child Abuser Put Behind BarsSubmitted: 02/25/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


EAGLE RIVER - In 2011, a Lac du Flambeau man forced toddlers into a scalding bathtub.

Now he won't be able to go near any child for the next four years.

Jeffery Kulick turned up the water temperature in the house to near boiling a year and a half ago.

That's when he was watching the two year old and three year old siblings.

He then forced the children into a bathtub of the scalding water.

On Monday, he was sentenced in Vilas County Court to four years in prison, followed by five years of extended supervision.

Family of the victims provided emotional testimony.

"It takes a real monster to turn the water heater up, wait for the water to get that hot, then run an bath, then forced my son to sit in it," said the victims' mother.

"The grandmother who immediately tried to aid the young man indicated that when she tried to take his socks off, the skin was coming off with the socks," explained Vilas County Assistant District Attorney David Breedlove.

"He's burned from the waist down. Not only that, but his private areas. What's he going to tell girls when he's older?" asked the victims' father.

Newswatch 12 has decided to keep the identity of the parents concealed to protect the victims' privacy as minors.

"I guess the best way I can say it is, I feel your pain. I truly do," said Vilas County Judge Neal Nielsen during sentencing.

Nielsen showed little sympathy for Kulick.

He gave him nearly the five years in prison prosecutors asked for.

Defense attorney Robert Hanson told us he expects to take the ruling to appeals court.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

VILAS COUNTY - A 77-year-old man died in a crash near Boulder Junction late Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol, it happened around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway H.

Investigators think a van went through an intersection and hit a semi truck.

"There was injury," said Boulder Junction Fire Chief Matthew Reuss. "The two passengers in the van had to be extricated. One was taken to Howard Young Medical Center for further care. The driver of the semi was uninjured and the second passenger in the van was pronounced dead at the scene."

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

The driver of the semi is 63 years old and from South Range. 

Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Several units responded to the scene.

"Because we had multiple patients, we dispatched multiple ambulance units," Reuss said. "We called in resources from Arbor Vitae for traffic control and we called Manitowish Waters for help in extrication and ambulance service as well as Medic 5 out of Howard Young."

State Patrol and the Vilas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the crash.

Police will not release the names until the families are notified. 

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STEVENS POINT - A baby in Portage County ended up in the hospital for seizures twice in three days last fall.  Police think the mother's live-in boyfriend may have shaken that baby.

Matthew Huettl, 25, pleaded not guilty to felony charges for first-degree reckless injury and child abuse in Portage County Court on Tuesday.

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ANTIGO - Police started to look into former Langlade County Human Resources Director R.J. Weitz for misconduct before his suicide late last month.

We didn't know exactly why Weitz was being investigated. But documents released Tuesday by the Langlade County Sheriff's Office offer some explanation.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Jail hopes to add two new corrections officers in 2017. But the jail needs more applicants by Friday.

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NORTHWOODS - Roads stayed fairly safe north of highway eight Tuesday, but an ice storm caused a lot of slick conditions south of there.

As of Tuesday morning, the state patrol dealt with more than 200 incidents around the region.

But for the most part, drivers weren't crashing into each other.

"The number of slide ins have really outnumbered the number of crashes, which kind of tells us that's good that motorists have been listening and kind of adding a little more distance between themselves and other vehicles so that's good, so it looks like the total number of slide ins have been significantly higher than crashes," said State Patrol Sergeant, Dan Gruebele

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MERRILL - Republicans planned to go after the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, quickly after taking control of Congress and the White House. Less than a month into session and the House of Representatives started picking apart the healthcare law. Many Americans are wondering what will happen to Obamacare. Congressman Sean Duffy held a town hall at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill this afternoon to answer the public's questions. 

According to Duffy (R-Weston), the Affordable Care Act will be repealed because it is effective for 20 million people, but not for all of America. 

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RHINELANDER - When police arrested Alexander Durand for stealing a car, they found he had been stealing mail as well.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office arrested Durand, 21, Saturday for driving a car stolen from a house near Rhinelander. During that investigation, officers found a lot of other people's mail on Durand's property.

The mail was from all over Oneida County as well as other counties.  The Sheriff's Office will contact the people whose mail has been found.

Durand is due in court January 23.

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