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November 12, 2019

10/15/2019 7:30:00 AM
Rhinelander man receives DEJ in child sexual assault case
By River News Staff

An 18-year-old Rhinelander man charged with attempting to have intercourse with a child under the age of 13 accepted a plea agreement Oct. 7 and received a delayed entry of judgment on the charge.

According to online court records, Caleb D. Lanke, was charged June 18, 2018 with attempted first-degree child sexual assault (sexual intercourse with a child under age 13), a Class B felony, along with exposing a child to harmful material and exposing genitals, both misdemeanors.

Lanke was 17 at the time he was charged. In the Wisconsin court system, persons age 17 and older are considered adults and are prosecuted in adult court. 

Lanke appeared before Oneida County circuit judge Michael Bloom Oct. 2, 2018 with his attorney Andrew P. Mongin and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. At a pretrial conference on March 5, 2019, assistant district attorney Mary Sowinski told Bloom the two sides were close to an agreement, but requested a date in June so Lanke "could finish his high school experience." 

After Lanke failed to earn his high school diploma, Sowinski told Bloom at a July 30 pre-trial conference that a DEJ agreement would be drafted if the defendant arranged to earn his high school equivalency.

She said Lanke would resolve this case and a burglary charge in a separate case filed June 8, 2018.

According to the criminal complaint in the sex assault case, the Rhinelander Police Department received a referral related to Lanke on June 6. 

The complaint states the alleged victim reported that Lanke "had attempted and had inappropriate sexual contact with the juvenile victim on many occasions."

She said he touched her inappropriately and exposed his genitals to her. The alleged victim also reported that Lanke asked her to touch him inappropriately, showed her adult films and asked her to have intercourse, according to the complaint.

In a separate incident, the alleged victim also reported she woke up to Lanke touching her inappropriately but he ran away.

Later the same night she woke up to him touching her again, she said.

At the Oct. 7 plea hearing, Sowinski explained the plea agreement which involved amending the attempted first-degree child sexual assault (sexual intercourse with a child under age 13) charge to attempted third degree sexual assault, a class G felony. A charge of causing mental harm to a child, a class F felony, was added. The charges in the other cases were dismissed but read in for purposes of sentencing.

The terms of the DEJ call for Lanke to remain subject to terms and conditions of bond, maintain employment or an educational program, complete his HSED, successfully complete three years of probation and complete 25 hours of community service each 12 month period.

With the felonies resolved, only the misdemeanors, which were also covered under Lanke's no contest plea, are still pending. Sentencing on those charges is scheduled for Nov. 7.

If he violates the term of the DEJ and the case is reopened by the DA's office, Lanke could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

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