RHINELANDER - A man from Woodruff accused of repeatedly asking a 15-year-old girl for sex held his head in his hands during his initial appearance in Oneida County Court on Wednesday.
Bradley Hilmer, 20, could face prison if convicted of attempted sexual assault of a child and using a computer to facilitate a sex crime. It's not the first time he's faced similar offenses.
The criminal complaint shows Hilmer contacted an undercover Oneida County Sheriff's detective online twice, starting in April. Through internet-based services and text messages, Hilmer asked the undercover officer (who used a fake name and told Hilmer repeatedly "she" was only 15) for pictures and to participate in sex acts with him.
The two eventually agreed to meet up for sex in Minocqua on Monday night. Police arrested Hilmer when he showed up for an encounter at an area gas station. Hilmer had a backpack with condoms, lubricant, and a sex toy.
Wednesday afternoon, his attorney Mary Roth Burns hoped to get Hilmer out of jail on bond.
"Because he lives with his parents and because the court can impose conditions such as no access to computers or cell phones, we would ask for a high signature bond," Roth Burns said.
Hilmer just finished a three-year probation period from a 2015 case which led to criminal charges.
In April 2016, he pleaded no contest to sending obscene pictures and messages when he was 17. In that case, Hilmer was accused of trying to lure teenage girls into his high school's stairwells in addition to sending messages and pictures. That criminal complaint also noted HIlmer was involved in various other sexual crimes dating back to Jan. 2013 when he was a minor. Those cases were referred to social services.
In the 2019 case, Hilmer asked the undercover officer if he was being set up, adding "I don't wanna go to jail."
After his arrest, Hilmer told detectives he was "aware meeting a 15-year-old for sexual intercourse was wrong, but felt he had a sexual addiction," according to the criminal complaint.
Wednesday, judge Michael Bloom called these new charges serious.
"The sort of conduct that is alleged has become all too frequent and at some point has to be brought to a stop," Bloom said while shaking his head.
Bloom set a $5,000 cash bond. He also ordered Hilmer to not have contact with anyone under 18 and not use the internet.
Hilmer faces a combined 60 years in prison, if convicted.
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's former police chief, who was demoted to captain in part for using tear gas against protesters demonstrating over George Floyd's death, has chosen to retire instead of staying with the department.
The city's Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously last week to demote Chief Alfonso Morales.
Commissioners criticized how Morales handled multiple incidents involving Black people, including the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown.
Speaking Wednesday on WTMJ-AM, Morales said he's retiring because if he returned as a captain it would be at a reduced salary and would negatively impact his pension payments.
Morales also defended his record as chief.
His attorney says he and Morales are exploring a range of legal action, including filing a claim for damages.
KENOSHA - A Kenosha police officer wounded in a shootout last week while investigating a vehicle break-in has been released from a hospital, Wisconsin Department of Justice officials said Friday.
A release by the department's Division of Criminal Investigation identified the officer as Justin Pruett, who has been with the Kenosha police force for two years. He suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen, the Kenosha News reported.
RHINELANDER - Traffic slowed to a stand-still on Highway 8 West out of Rhinelander but not because of any accident or construction.
NATH and The Good News Project partnered for the third year in a row to host an e-cycling fundraiser.
"There's still a huge line of cars waiting to drop off their things and that's been going on since before we opened at 8. It's been a very busy and very successful fundraiser," say Rick Covin, Board Member for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.
NATH operates Frederick's Place in Rhinelander. This is their third year partnering with The Good News Project out of Wausau to host the electronics recycling event.
"We're having anyone from the area able to bring their electronics, even vacuum cleaners, stereo systems, computers, TVs, monitors, and for a small fee which is much less than you would have to pay at the dump," says Covin.
A portion of the proceeds will go toward helping fund the shelter's operation. COVID and other complications forced NATH to cancel many of their successful fundraising events, like the Harvest Hoedown normally scheduled for October.
"While our expenses have not gone down, even gone up some, our income, which is fundraising grants, and gifts, has gone down," says Covin.
If you didn't make it Friday, don't worry! You can stop by from 9 to noon Saturady.
"We'll all be here ready to take their recyclables and all that stuff that's been gathering dust in their basement, closet, and garage, gather that up, those old electronics you have to pay through the nose to get rid of at the dump, bring 'em here, and we'll give rid of em for a small fee and it'll go to a good cause," says Covin.
RHINELANDER - After over 50 years of staying open, Hodag Lanes in Rhinelander has officially closed its doors.
"I mean COVID has hit the bowling business really, really hard no matter where your bowling center is," said Sharon Cline, bowling manager at Hodag Lanes.
And with the construction on Stevens Street, the bowling alley was in a tough situation.
"The construction was also a big play for us because with all the construction out here it was tough for anybody to get through," Cline said.
A lot of memories were created in the bowling alley for various citizens in the city.
"I probably started bowling in the early '80s on the Wednesday night women's league," said Sherri Schilleman, Rhinelander resident. "We had the 9 o'clock slot I believe back then."
For her and many families in Rhinelander, bowling was very popular.
"Bowling is actually a big sport in Rhinelander," said Schilleman. "And I think in the last couple of years bowling was actually starting to make another comeback. So it's sad because people are gonna have to find something else to do."
But Cline is hoping that this won't be the end for Hodag Lanes.
"It is costly to have a bowling center but we're just hoping again that we can get up and running again," said Cline.
KINGSTON, MO - Attorneys for a Missouri man accused of killing two brothers from Wisconsin are seeking to have two charges of abandoning a corpse dismissed in the case.
Garland Nelson, of Braymer, is facing the death penalty in the deaths of 24-year-old Justin Diemel and 35-year-old Nicholas Diemel, of Shawano County, Wisconsin. They disappeared after visiting Nelson's farm in July 2019 and their burned remains were later found in Missouri and Nebraska.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, LLC. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.