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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A 50-year-old former Boyceville woman has been charged with the false reporting of an emergency for saying she was being held hostage by her 56-year-old ex-boyfriend.
Lynn A. Nieznanski, also previously known as Lynn Field, appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court January 6 before Judge Luke Wagner on two felony counts of bail jumping and false reporting of an emergency and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer regarding an incident that occurred at residence in the Village of Boyceville.
According to the criminal complaint, Boyceville Police Chief Greg Lamkin was advised about a possible hostage situation December 30.
Police Chief Lamkin states that while he was off duty, he noted a call for service in which a woman had called dispatch to report that her friend, Lynn Nieznanski, had said she was being abused by Frank Bignell at his residence in Boyceville and that he was keeping her locked in the basement.
The notes from law enforcement officers who responded to the initial call indicate that Bignell said he had not had contact with Nieznanski for over a year and that she was not in his house, the complaint states.
Deputies noted that Bignell initially refused to allow them to search his house but then relented, although the deputies were not able to locate Nieznanski.
One deputy documented that he had talked to the friend, and she had said Nieznanski had sent photographs of herself with injuries, that Bignell had caused the injuries and she was still inside Bignell’s house.
A few hours later, the friend contacted dispatch again to say that Nieznanski was still in the house and that Bignell had made her hide when the deputies came to the house, the complaint states.
Deputies contacted Verizon to “ping” Nieznanski’s telephone, and Verizon advised the phone had pinged within a radius of 872 meters (or 2,861 feet) near a location on Mobile Avenue, according to the criminal complaint.
Police Chief Lamkin told the deputy he would seek a search warrant, checked the GPS plot for the phone ping and confirmed that Bignell’s residence was less than 600 meters from the ping and was within the 872 meter radius.
Police Chief Lamkin obtained a search warrant from a Dunn County judge, and upon arriving at the scene, decided not to request the SWAT team since one deputy was a member of the team and there were four officers available all together.
The police chief also took into consideration Bignell’s history of “relative cooperation and non-violence during police contacts and search warrants,” the desire to have minimal disruption to the neighborhood, and a desire to check on Nieznanski’s safety sooner instead of waiting for the SWAT team to respond, according to the criminal complaint.
When law enforcement officers made contact with Bignell to execute the search warrant, Bignell said he had not seen Nieznanski since “last fall” and that she had a restraining order against him, the criminal complaint states.
When Bignell was asked who else was in the house, he said “just Ashley.”
Bignell pointed out to the officers that another deputy had already checked his house, and the officers told Bignell they had received new information that Nieznanski was there and that they were going to check his house again.
Bignell said he would not allow the officers to check his house but was then told the officers had a search warrant.
When Bignell was told they would search thoroughly, and if Nieznanski was not present, they would be done checking his house, Bignell opened the door and allowed the officers to enter.
Bignell was informed by the officers that a friend of Nieznanski’s had reported that Bignell was keeping Nieznanski “locked up” in his house.
Bignell said he had broken up with another woman the day before and asked if that was who was making the allegations. When the officers told Bignell the friend’s name, he said she was lying and that it was the woman he had just broken up with, and she was in Eau Claire, according to the complaint.
Bignell told the officers that his most recent former girlfriend had called him earlier in the day “threatening to do this sh*t.”
As the officers checked Bignell’s garage and house, Bignell kept saying Nieznanski was not there.
One deputy called out from a bedroom that he had found someone, and when Police Chief Lamkin asked her who she was, she said “Lynn.”
When deputies took Bignell into custody, he asked why he was being arrested and said he had not done anything wrong, the criminal complaint states.
Nieznanski asked which friend had called about her, and when she was told which friend, Nieznanski said she had not talked to her in two days.
Police Chief Lamkin asked why Nieznanski was hiding in the closet, and she replied, “‘Because I’m not supposed to be here.’ I asked why she was not supposed to be there, and Lynn replied, ‘Because we’re on a no contact,’” according to the complaint.
Nieznanski was asked why she did not talk to the deputies when they were at the house earlier, but she said she had not known they were there
When deputies asked if she had contacted her friend to say Bignell had hidden her in the basement until the deputies left, Nieznanski replied, “I wasn’t hidden in the basement,” according to the complaint.
Nieznanski said the deputies could not trust her friend because her friend was a pathological liar and that she and Bignell had broken up last summer and that her friend had kept calling Bignell and telling him things that were not true.
One deputy asked why Nieznanski had a “no contact” order against Bignell, and Nieznanski said a court had ordered that Nieznanski and Bignell have no contact with each other.
Judges often order “no contact” between defendants involved in the same case or between defendants and others who could possibly be witnesses or between defendants and alleged victims.
Bignell asked how long he was supposed to have been holding Nieznanski against her will, and Ashley said she had been at the house since 2 p.m. and that it had just been just her and Bignell, according to the complaint.
Police Chief Lamkin asked if Ashley knew Lynn was hiding in the closet, and Ashley said, “I had no [expletive] idea.”
Ashley asked if Nieznanski was Jessica or the jealous ex-girlfriend, and Bignell said Nieznanski was “some girl in Rice Lake.” Bignell said Nieznanski was moving her things out of the northeast bedroom, that he was gone for three days and she was there, the complaint states.
Bignell said Nieznanski was supposed to remove her things from his house while he was gone, that she was supposed to have moved to Rice Lake, and when he got back and she was still there, he should have left.
Police Chief Lamkin asked about an open condom wrapper that had been on the bed, which Nieznanski said had been “from he and her,” but Bignell said it “for him and Ashley.” Ashley asked how Nieznanski would know, and Police Chief Lamkin pointed out the wrapper had been on the bed, and when he asked, Nieznanski said “it was her and Frank.”
Bignell repeatedly said “no,” but Police Chief Lamkin pointed out that Bignell had repeatedly said Nieznanski was not in the house, “yet we found her there,” according to the complaint.
Bignell said he had not told the officers Nieznanski was in the house because of the no-contact order from the judge and that he did not want to go to jail.
Bignell said he also did not want anyone else to get into trouble.
When Police Chief Lamkin checked with dispatch, he was informed that Bignell had a no-contact order with Nieznanski under a Dunn County case and an open bail under another case, according to the criminal complaint.
Police Chief Lamkin contacted the Rice Lake Police Department and asked that officers interview Nieznanski’s friend.
The officers met with the friend, and she allowed them to photograph the text messages between her and Nieznanski. The friend told officers Nieznanski had made statements that Bignell was making her perform sexual acts on other men, according to the criminal complaint.
Judge Wagner set bail at $100 cash for Nieznanski. She is scheduled to make another court appearance on February 14.
Nieznanski is currently on bond conditions in Dunn County for a case involving possession of methamphetamine as a repeater. Judge Rod Smeltzer set bail with a $500 signature bond in August of 2020. She is scheduled for another court appearance in the methamphetamine case January 28.
Bignell is charged with two felony counts of bail jumping in connection with the incident and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer. He is scheduled for another court appearance February 14.
Judge Wagner set bail at $500 cash in the bail jumping and obstructing an officer case.
Bignell currently has another open case in Dunn County in which he is charged with three felony counts related to the sexual assault of a child. Bail was set in that case with a $1,000 signature bond in December of 2020. He is scheduled for another court appearance on the sexual assault case February 14.
Bignell is scheduled for a sentencing hearing before Judge Christina Mayer January 19 on four felony counts related to the possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug trafficking place.
Judge Smeltzer set bail at $5,000 cash in the methamphetamine case in April of 2020.