A trial date has been set for a 28-year-old former Rhinelander man charged with attempted sexual assault of a child under 16 and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, both class C felonies, following an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) operation last April.
Alexander L. Valentine appeared before Oneida County Circuit Judge Michael Bloom Tuesday afternoon, with his attorney Elizabeth Svehlek, for a pretrial conference on the charges. Assistant district attorney Jillian Pfeifer represented the state.
"We do not have a resolution, your honor, and I believe it is time to put this on the trial calendar," Svehlek said.
Both Svehlek and Pfeifer agreed the case would require a one-day jury trial. Bloom then scheduled the trial for June 5, and set a May 12 pretrial date. Another hearing may be scheduled if the parties file motions in limine, he added.
According to the criminal complaint, a Wisconsin Department of Justice special agent, working undercover, posed as a 15-year-old girl and conversed with Valentine through a dating app and text messages. He is alleged to have sent explicit messages to the "girl" outlining the sexual acts he intended to perform.
The complaint said the agent mentioned at least three times that the girl he was impersonating was 15, and Valentine acknowledged that.
He also allegedly asked the "girl" to bring a friend along so they could have a group encounter, the complaint noted.
On April 1, Valentine agreed to meet the "girl" at a location in Rhinelander where he was arrested, the complaint states.
When interviewed by the special agent, Valentine admitted that he had traveled to the location in Rhinelander for the sole purpose of picking up the "girl" for sex.
At the time of his arrest, Valentine was an elementary school teacher in Crandon. However, he denied having inappropriate contact with students.
In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, Crandon district administrator Larry Palubicki said Valentine is no longer employed by the district. Court records now list a La Crosse address for Valentine.
If convicted of the charge of attempted sexual assault of a child under 16, Valentine faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, while the using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime charge carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 40 years with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years.
Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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