Dunn County jury finds Elk Mound man not guilty of child sexual assault

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — A Dunn County jury has found a 19-year-old Elk Mound man not guilty of the repeated sexual assault of the same child.

Judge James Peterson entered a judgement of acquittal in Dunn County Circuit Court for Chandler Russell James following a two-day jury trial June 28 and June 29.

[emember_protected] Witnesses in the case testified the first day of the trial. On the second day, following closing arguments and jury instructions, the jury went off the record to deliberate at 10:22 a.m. and came back on the record at 1:01 p.m. to deliver their not-guilty verdict.

James was charged with one Class B felony of the repeated sexual assault of the same child, with at least three violations of first degree sexual assault.

In August of 2016, Judge James Peterson ruled that the results of a polygraph were not admissible in court, based on the case of State of Wisconsin vs. Dean (1981).

The offer to take a polygraph, however, was admissible in court, Judge Peterson said.

James’s attorney, William Schembera, said James had offered three times during the interview with investigators to take a polygraph test.

According to the complaint, the alleged victim was 11 years old at the time the claim was made about sexual assault.

The assaults were alleged to have occurred from the summer of 2012 to the summer of 2015.

When investigators confronted him with the allegations, James began to cry. When asked why he was crying, James said he did not know why someone would lie.

Throughout his interviews with investigators, James continued to deny any sexual contact with the alleged victim.

James’s mother told investigators that on one occasion when the alleged victim claimed to have been assaulted, James was not even in the area at the time.

A Class B felony carries a maximum penalty of up to 60 years in prison.

The criminal complaint was filed in August of 2015.

A jury trial was initially scheduled in October of 2016 and again in February of this year. [/emember_protected]