CRANDON - A sheriff's deputy testified Friday in the case of a 33-year-old Crandon man accused of sexually and physically victimizing six children in Forest County since 2010.
Matthew Christenson is charged with 14 felonies in the case.
Friday's evidence came from interviews the alleged victims--five sexual assault victims and one physical abuse victim--had with police and trained child advocates.
Forest County Sheriff's Captain Jeff Marvin told the court what he heard in those interviews.
Marvin said Christenson had impregnated one of his underage victims twice. Christenson took the girl, referred to as Victim 1 in Newswatch 12 stories, to New Mexico to get an abortion on the first pregnancy. Christenson performed an abortion himself the second time.
Victim 2 told interviewers about the number of times she was assaulted.
"The sexual abuse started when she was in seventh or eighth grade," Marvin said. "It involved sexual intercourse numerous times. I believe she said over a hundred times."
Christenson is accused of regularly getting children drunk or high before committing sexual or physical abuse.
"Matthew Christenson would supply the kids with alcohol and marijuana," Marvin said. "They would party."
In one case, Victim 3 said Christenson got her drunk to the point of passing out on while camping near Wabeno. That girl told investigators when she came to, he was sexually assaulting her.
"She advised that he had his hand over her mouth," Marvin said. "She advised that it was very painful."
Victim 6 told interviewers he was routinely physically assaulted by Christenson, with Christenson using things like bullwhips and fire pokers.
"He was hit in the head with a crescent wrench while he was doing dishes, which knocked him right out, cutting his head. He said he was bleeding profusely," Marvin said. "When he came to, he was made to clean the blood up off the floor."
Judge Patrick O'Melia found enough evidence to send the case forward toward a trial on Friday. Christenson pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges. If convicted, he could face up to 454 years in prison.
Christenson's attorney, Andrew Morgan, argued Friday his $75,000 bond should be lowered.
"He has shown that he is not a danger to anybody and is not a flight risk," Morgan said.
Morgan said Christenson plans to maintain his innocence.
Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono strongly objected to bond being lowered, and O'Melia agreed.
"Frankly, $75,000 is low," said O'Melia. "There's a strong flight risk here."
Christenson will stay in the Forest County Jail until his next court date, which has yet to be set.
Read the original story on Christenson's charges by clicking the link below.
RHINELANDER - It's easy to slip on ice, skid on roads, or get stuck in the snow.
One thing that also happens is joint pain from common winter activities.
Shoveling heavy snow is one of the biggest problems Rhinelander Chiropractor Dr. Tony Lowenberg sees causing this pain.
He said shoveling is a physical activity that can cause excessive stress on the body; especially for people who don't lift heavy often.
"Lifting and the twisting creates wear and tear on their body. Then [people] feel it as pain and then their muscles get tight because they are not used to lifting stuff," said Dr. Lowenberg. "It's more people that are not used a physical job, shoveling can be [troublesome]."
TOMAHAWK - After a bitterly cold November, road crews in Tomahawk enjoyed a warm up on Monday. But temperatures shifting above and below freezing this week will create perfect conditions for a lot more work. John Cole is the Director of Public Works for the City of Tomahawk. He says that pothole issues are something that his crew fights all season long.
"It's job security, it's not a good job security, but it is job security for sure because you always have potholes to fill," said Cole. "When you get that expansion and contraction, we get water in those cracks, and when you get the traffic and people driving on them."
In Tomahawk, Cole sends crews out every week to look for potholes and fill them. He also sends out crews whenever they get a call about a bad pothole.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander student made it onto her school bus and to class unhurt last Tuesday, but she almost didn't. A recent close call left Bowen Bus Service employees wondering if Rhinelander will be the next to see a student killed while simply trying to get to and from school.
On Hwy 8 last week a student was nearly hit by a truck at her bus stop, leaving the bus driver in disbelief. In a surveillance video from the bus, you can hear the bus driver say "That car like just missed you. That truck just missed her."
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