A Michigan man was sentenced in Barron County Circuit Court on Sept. 11 to 4 years in prison after having pleaded guilty in April to attempted second degree sexual assault of a child and attempted solicitation of a child.
In addition to 4 years of confinement, Douglass A.L. Wiseman, 47, was sentenced to 6 years probation.
"I am truly sorry," Wiseman told the court. He said the last 16 months have been the hardest lesson he has ever learned.
It was noted in court that Wiseman had no previous criminal record and was working as a surgeon at the time of his arrest.
Wiseman was arrested May 13, 2018 as part of the Rice Lake Police Department sex stings that have arrested 14 men.
The criminal complaint states Wiseman texted for a month with who he thought was a 15-year-old before offering to pay to perform oral sex on the boy and his 15-year-old friend.
Barron County Judge James Babler stated he rejected sentencing Wiseman to probation due to the gravity of the
offense, the willingness to pay for sex and the planning involved.
The exact sentence given to Wiseman was two 10-year sentences consisting of 4 years initial confinement and 6 years probation to be served consecutively.
Wiseman was given 165 days jail credit and must pay costs and submit DNA to Barron County Jail.
As conditions of probation, he may not have contact with juveniles unless in the presence of their parent or guardian and must register as a sex offender for life.
Barron County authorities continue to investigate the stabbing death of a Rice Lake woman in Cameron that was reported the same day as a connected fatal traffic crash.
The Barron County Sheriff's Office was called to a trailer in Cook's Mobile Home Park on Sept. 12 at 10:48 a.m. and found the body of 22-year-old Audra Poppe on the floor. No one else was inside the trailer.
The man who lived at the trailer, 21-year-old Eldon S. Jackson, had been killed earlier that morning when the vehicle he was driving that belonged to Poppe crossed the centerline and collided with a dump truck on Hwy. 8, according to the sheriff's office.
Jackson made a 911 call to the Barron County Sheriff's Office dispatch center at 2:48 a.m. Thursday, according to the call log. He requested an ambulance and said someone had broken into his home about three hours earlier.
The entry states it sounded to the dispatcher like the man was distressed. He told dispatch that people were messing with him before saying he no longer wanted an ambulance.
Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald confirmed two Barron County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the trailer and attempted to make contact. The lights were off, and the officers knocked on both the front and back door,
but no one answered. No one would answer call back attempts over the phone. Fitzgerald said it is unknown if Jackson was in the mobile home at the time.
At 5:47 a.m., a caller reported a dump truck hit a car on Hwy. 8 west of Barron. The road was shut down for more than 4 hours as police investigated.
According to the sheriff's office, Jackson was driving Poppe's vehicle when it crossed the center line and struck the dump truck driven by Robert Tourville, 52, of Prairie Farm.
Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene, and Tourville was transported to the Mayo Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Poppe's family said Jackson was an exboyfriend of hers, and they had not been in a romantic relationship at the time.
Poppe had gone to Jackson's home to tell him about her new boyfriend before he saw it posted on Facebook, according to her family.
The sheriff's office said more information will be released after an autopsy and evidence is processed and examined.
Rental scams, perpetrated online through sites like Craigslist and Facebook, are becoming more and more common.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has received reports from various partners that consumers have "rented" properties advertised online only to find out later that the property was never available for rent. Consumers wired money to the "landlord" to hold the property. Now the consumers have no place to live and the "landlord" can't be found to return their money.
These types of scams can happen to any property listed online, be it through a real estate company or private seller.
"We recently had this happen to one of my listings," said Geoff Pedersen, Realtor at Alliance Realty. "We had several calls one morning asking about renting one of the properties we had listed. It was on Craigslist and they somehow got our listing pictures and descriptions."
He added, "One person even drove to the property and walked around. Fortunately, none of them had sent money to the person pretending to be the owner."
Casey Watters, a realtor at Real Estate Solutions, said she's seen the scams, too.
"Over the last few years our entire office has seen an increase in bogus real estate and rental listings. These fake listings can be very convincing!" said Watters.
She recommended taking a common sense approach to renting or buying property.
"Be wary of weird stories, like somebody is overseas for a few years and would like to rent their property out while their away. The scammer will likely ask for cash up front to hold the property or for a deposit. Never send cash or wire transfers to anybody you don't know," said Watters.
She added, "If you do think an ad is legitimate and agree to meet private renter or real estate seller in person, always meet at a safe public place prior to viewing the property and make sure somebody knows where you are at or where you are going."
The Bureau of Consumer Protection advises consumers when renting property, whether for vacation or longerterm housing, to:
• Know exactly with whom you are doing business. Does the person/management company actually exist?
• Verify the property address exists and is actually for rent.
• Inspect the property (inside and out) before you put any money down.
• Get a rental agreement in writing, if possible.
• Never wire money.
• Be cautious if you are asked to send money out of state when the property you are renting is located in Wisconsin. Ask why and verify the reason.
It is also a good idea to rely on friends, family, co-workers or local professionals to assist you in your search.
For more info or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at http://datcp.wi.gov or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-422-7128.