Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander man charged in sexual assault of 76-year-old Oneida County womanSubmitted: 07/10/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Rhinelander man charged in sexual assault of 76-year-old Oneida County woman
RHINELANDER - Charged with sexual assault, burglary, and other felonies, Isaiah Moren appeared for only a few moments via video for his initial appearance in Oneida County Court Tuesday afternoon, but it was a hearing Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook waited a long time for.

"This is one of the most significant cases that we've had of sexual assault," said Hook, who has been with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office for 23 years.


Hook and her team of investigators first learned about the case of a 76-year-old sexual assault victim from the Town of Pelican one month ago, but finding the 21-year-old suspect took time.

"It is something that we have been working diligently on," Hook said.

The criminal complaint filed Tuesday morning details how the victim's daughter found her June 10, with bruises to the face, torso, and legs, a rug burn on her hand, and bloody sheets and pillows around her bedroom. The daughter says she routinely checks on her mother every day as her caretaker.   The home's patio door had been broken as well as some other objects around the house.

Newswatch 12 is not identifying the victim, her daughter, or where she lives to protect her identity.

The victim told police she went to bed the night of June 9 around 8:30 p.m. She heard a noise and knew someone was in her home. The victim told investigators the man "put his hands and body on her," then put his hands around her throat. According to the criminal complaint, the attacker repeatedly told the woman to "relax" before sexually assaulting her.

The victim's daughter brought her mother to Ascension St. Mary's Hospital where a nurse contacted the Oneida County Sheriff's Office.  The victim was taken to another hospital, where a sexual assault nurse conducted specialized testing.

The elderly victim told officers she believes she's suffering from dementia and could only describe her attacker as a man with a white shirt, shorts, and pulled-back hair. The victim wasn't sure if she knew her attacker or not.  Police believe Moren "targeted" the victim after discovering she lived alone.

"We could not go out to the public until we had all of these pieces put together," Hook told Newswatch 12 on Tuesday afternoon.

Police turned to DNA evidence to build their case. Over the next few days, officers took voluntary swabs from about 25 people who had been in the area at the time of the assault, including Moren, then turned over clothing and swabs from the victim's sexual assault test kit to the state crime lab.

During that process, investigators developed an initial suspect as a 49-year-old man who lives in the area. Police questioned the man, who volunteered to submit DNA for testing. On June 18, the state crime lab told investigators that man's DNA was not a match for the crime scene.

"It seems like on television you just put somebody's fingerprints in and their face comes up on the screen. That's not how it works here," Hook said of the DNA testing process. "The Wisconsin State Crime Lab went out of their way to help us. They ran things as fast as they could."

On July 3, results came back that matched Moren's DNA to the victim's rape kit and other evidence from the bedroom. 

Police questioned Moren, who was in jail on a probation hold, but he denied being in the home and claimed to have been drinking at various bars and hanging out with friends the night of the assault. When detectives told Moren they had test results linking him to the crime, he asked for a lawyer and the interview ended.

"[What stands out about this case is] the brutality, the fact that this was a vulnerable person," Tri-County Council Sexual Assault Program Coordinator Braden Bayne-Allison said after attending Tuesday's court hearing.

Bayne-Allison is thankful the victim and her daughter reported the crime as soon as they did.

"A lot of survivors don't come forward in the first days, the first weeks, months, sometimes they never, they just live in silence," Bayne-Allison said.

Moren himself sat mostly in silence Tuesday afternoon as Judge Michael Bloom set bond at $500,000 cash. Moren could face up to 130 years in prison if convicted.

"There's a lot of healing that has to go on here," Hook said. "Not just for the victim but for the community and the family... This is not something that normally happens here."

The Tri-County Council says this case underlines the importance of checking in on your loved ones routinely.

Moren is due back in court on July 12 for his preliminary hearing.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA -
Starting a new health routine can be intimidating, but easing into the process can do the trick.

Just as balance is key in yoga, it is important to have in your lifestyle, too.

That's a mindset that Laurel Parins lives by.

"Whether that is a twenty minute walk, a class here at the studio… that will make you happier when you're not restricting yourself," says Parins.

She opened Roots Health Studio in Minocqua at the end of May after working in the fitness and nutrition field in Green Bay for some years.

"I really wanted to bring my knowledge of healthy lifestyle-living back to the community I grew up in."

Laurel gets that a new "health journey" can be intimidating, but she says you can't go wrong.

"Once you try it, you'll never regret it."

Laurel offers yoga and barre classes, personal training, and nutrition services at Roots.

For more info, click the link below.


+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has introduced a bill that would allow all of Wisconsin to watch the Green Bay Packers.

Currently a dozen counties in northwestern Wisconsin are relegated to watching Minnesota Viking games whenever they play at the same time as the Packers. Florence County is in the Marquette, Michigan, market and must watch the Detroit Lions whenever they play at the same time as the Packers.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - The roads in Minocqua got a little bit safer thanks to the generosity of a local business.

The Minocqua Police Department's speed board was falling apart and in desperate need of repairs.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Charlotte Strehlow might be the last living member of her childhood family. 

"My folks are gone, my brothers are gone, sisters, I'm the one left," said Strehlow. 

But she's taken their lessons and used them to live a very long life. 

"I had very good parents, my father was a pastor," said Strehlow. 

Strehlow says the life her parents showed her how to live helped her to reach her 110th birthday. 

"We've had a countdown for a while now, she was so excited about it," said personal care worker Emily Winchell.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander announced Wednesday it has narrowed its candidates for city administrator to three people. 

Daniel Guild, Jeff Eder, and Stephen Kil will be interviewed for the position. They were selected from a pool of 39 applicants. 

+ Read More
Rollover on Highway 17Submitted: 07/18/2018

Play Video

HIGWAY 17 - A driver walked away mostly uninjured from a one-car rollover north of Rhinelander this morning.

The accident happened on Highway 17 around 9:45 a.m. 

+ Read More

Play Video

TOWN OF PELICAN - Twisted metal and side-curtain air bags gave a pretty good sense of how bad a crash was Wednesday afternoon, but the Town of Pelican's deputy fire chief already knew he needed to work quickly.

"Time is of the essence," Norm Peterson said.

Peterson's department got the 911 page of a two-car crash on Highway 8 and River Bend Road, about two miles east of Rhinelander, around 12:30 p.m.  The cars both ended up in the ditch on the north side of Highway 8, out of traffic.  Police reduced traffic to one lane while medics treated the injured, but cars were able to still get through in both directions.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here