RHINELANDER - A Minocqua man faces a first-degree child sexual assault charge after the victim reported the crime to police years later.
Prosecutors charged John D. Aversano, 31, with the felony Monday in Oneida County court.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim reported the assault from six years prior to family members after learning about inappropriate touching in school. The family called Minocqua police March 4. (Newswatch 12 is working to learn more about the seven-week period between police being contacted and charges being brought. This story will be updated.)
Police set up an interview between the victim and a person specially trained in child sexual assaults, which the family agreed to. The child understood the difference between truth and a lie and agreed to tell the truth to the interviewer. The victim detailed Aversano molesting and forcing the victim to touch his genitals.
The victim, who was under the age of 10 at the time of the assault, explained, "I felt like it was killing me inside to not tell anyone."
Monday, Judge Patrick O'Melia set a $30,000 cash bond and ordered Aversano have no contact with the victim or the victim's family.
Assistant District Attorney Mary Sowinski asked for the bond to be sealed, which the DA's office explained to Newswatch 12 is done to protect the victim's identity.
Aversano faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted. He is due back in court April 25.
Tri-County Council Executive Director Shellie Holmes told Newswatch 12 on Tuesday afternoon she's glad the victim was able to come forward. Holmes encourages anyone who may also be a victim to contact her office.
"If someone has been dealing with something for a long time, we certainly will honor the wishes of a victim [in regards to reporting an assault to police,]" Holmes said. "They may not be ready... But we're there to guide them."
You can call the Tri-County Council at its 24/7 helpline at 1-800-236-1222.
RHINELANDER - A man died near the entrance of Nicolet College in Rhinelander on Thursday afternoon.
Neither the campus nor the public were in danger, according to the Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office. Due to the circumstances of the man's death, Newswatch 12 is not releasing more information, but there appears to be nothing suspicious about the death.
Police got a report at 3:55 p.m. about a man lying face down near the entry drive to Nicolet College. Emergency responders took him to St. Mary's Hospital, but he died.
The Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office, Rhinelander Fire Department, Pelican First Responders, and Oneida Co. Medical Examiner's Office were involved in the response.
The Oneida County Beekeepers Association promotes beekeeping in the Northwoods.
It does its part to save the bees, and wants to encourage to do the same. It works to recruit new beekeepers, as well as teach people the importance of honeybees in our everyday lives.
"Bees are essential for our food supply," said Oneida County Beekeepers Association member, John Bigley. "If we lose the bees, we lose most of the food supply. So, we got to keep them healthy. We have to ensure that they are pollinating not only the flowers, but the fruit trees and vegetable gardens."
The organization is holding a class on June 1st for anyone who is interested in learning how to become a beekeeper.
It's also an advanced class for beekeepers to learn more about bee tips and tricks.
ARBOR VITAE - Do you know where your food comes from? Kindergarteners at Arbor Vitae-Woodruff elementary do. They have been growing their own fruits and vegetables all year. On Thursday, their work culminated in a final celebration as part of the first-ever Wisconsin School Garden Day.
Each kindergartner was partnered with a fifth grader to help them with planting and weeding.
Organizer Adriane Morabito said it is important for young people to know where their food comes from.
"It teaches them important skills like empathy, compassionate, and kindness," said Morabito. "It also helps them eat healthy."
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