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Crandon man charged with raping five underage victims; Christenson accused of impregnating, forcing abortion on oneSubmitted: 04/20/2017

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


CRANDON - A Crandon man is accused of impregnating an underage girl, then performing a crude abortion on her.

The criminal complaint also says Matthew Christenson, 33, has sexually assaulted five different children in Forest County since 2010, and brutally beaten at least one more.


Multiple victims said Christenson gave them alcohol and marijuana during his interactions with them.

Newswatch 12 is concealing the identities, ages, and any potential relationship of the alleged victims to the defendant, using only numbers for identification.

Victim 1 told Forest County Sheriff's Captain Jeff Marvin that Christenson impregnated her. Then, according to the criminal complaint, Christenson attempted to give her an abortion himself.  Newswatch 12 is leaving out the details of that act.

Victim 2, another child, lost count of the times Christenson had sex with that same victim.

"[Victim 2 told investigators] that it was so many times [the victim] did not even know but it was over one hundred times," says the complaint.

One victim told of threats by Christenson.

"The defendant told them that if they told anyone he would find them when he got out of jail," says the complaint.

Victim 3 reported being raped on a picnic table while camping near Wabeno. Victim 4, according to the complaint, would "say no [to sex] but [Christenson] would slap [the victim] in the face." Victim 2 told investigators, "[Christenson] would tell [Victim 5] that he wanted [the victim] to be his [spouse]."

All five victims were minors at the time of the alleged crimes.

A sixth child, Victim 6, was hit daily by Christenson, according to a different victim. Victim 6 told investigators Christenson used a switch, canoe paddle, wooden stick, bull whip, crescent wrench, and fire poker at different times in the abuse.

Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono filed an amended criminal complaint in court on Wednesday.

Christenson is now charged with 14 felony counts, including sexual assault and physical abuse charges. The maximum penalty if convicted on all charges is 454 years in prison.

Christenson is in the Forest County Jail on $75,000 cash bond. He will return to court on May 3.

This story has been updated from its original version.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/26/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you live to the Vilas County Courthouse for day 3 of the trial for 36-year-old Rodney Teets who is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at knife point in July 2015.

The Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness wants to work with landlords to help people get back on their feet. We talk to the housing program team leader about a meeting coming up in Rhinelander that will allow landlords to share information that can help the homeless find places to rent.

And we talk with The Forest County Health Department director about a program that is encouraging people to limit their time with TV, computers, iPhones and other types of screens for a week.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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TOMAHAWK - Unless you find yourself in trouble, you don't usually sit down and talk with a cop. 

The Tomahawk Police Department held its monthly Coffee with a Cop meeting Wednesday morning.

It gives people the chance to pull up a chair and talk to Chief Al Elvins about their questions or concerns.

Those concerns change with the season. 

Warmer weather means kids will be out of school soon and there'll be more foot traffic.
 
And don't forget about those motorcycles. 

"Watch out for the motorcycles. So often they hit a blind spot on us and you don't see them. If you are driving a bike, be aware of your surroundings. Remember that four wheels don't always see your two wheels," said Chief Elvins. 

The city's drug takeback will be open all day on Saturday. The department does it twice a year.

You can bring in any over the counter or prescription drugs to the station's drop-off box.


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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he hopes President Donald Trump's aggressive negotiating style will get Canadian officials to delay policy changes that will evaporate the demand for Wisconsin milk producers.

Walker said Wednesday that Trump's retaliatory move to impose tariffs on Canadian lumber was aggressive but appreciated.

Dozens of Wisconsin dairy farmers lost a market for their milk after Canada announced plans to change its dairy pricing policy to favor domestic milk.

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WISCONSIN - Turkey season began last week and hunters have a new option for what they can do with the turkeys they shoot.

The DNR started a turkey donating program this year.

You can donate turkey's to three processors in the southern half of the state.

"A little bit further south of here in areas where there's usually a lot of deer donations and a lot of turkey shot so that we can try and get some good participation for the first year," said DNR's Wildlife Biologist, Jeremy Holtz.

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RHINELANDER - A wild animal held up traffic on Highway 17 back in December. 

A two - year- old bear was approaching cars just south of Rhinelander.

The bear has been at Wild Instincts in Rhinelander since December 23.

But Rehab Director Mark Naniot found out last week the DNR will release the bear back into the wild.

"The DNR said that they would take the risk to go ahead and do the release and that's what we do here is release animals," said Naniot. 

"Of course it's a bigger dangerous animal and we didn't want to have the liability on us to say that we were the ones that made that decision."

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RHINELANDER - People with developmental disorders can hear plenty of negatives when it comes to succeeding in school. That's why a Northwoods school offers a program to help these students prove the doubters wrong.

Nicolet College offers Jump! Start, which helps people with special needs go to college and prepare for the workforce.

College student Ashley Mathy has Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a condition listed on the autism spectrum.

As a high school senior, she was told she would never make it to college because she would fail.

"You're going to have failures. You're going to have people tell you that you can't do things all the time whether you have a disability or you don't have one. And you just have to prove them wrong because if you don't, then you'll just let failure take you away," said Mathy.

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RHINELANDER - Nothing gets the competitive juices flowing like racing to fix a car's fuse box. Nicolet College in Rhinelander hosted 12 Northwoods high schools for some friendly competition with a specific goal in mind.

The competitions varied from auto skills to welding to even cupcake baking. The goal was for students to begin thinking about college.

"Getting to see the inner workings of a vehicle, getting to work and learn at the same time, it makes me think more about college and what I want to do with my future," said Crandon sophomore, Kegan Wilson.

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