WARNING: This article contains material that may not be suitable for all readers.
WASHBURN COUNTY — A criminal complaint has been filed in Washburn County Circuit Court against Zachary Richardson, of Spooner, WI and alleges that on multiple occasions he sexually assaulted at least three different children.
The criminal complaint states that on January 6, 2018, the Spooner Police Department received a report of ongoing sexual assaults of multiple children occurring in the City of Spooner, WI. The charges in the criminal complaint state that the alleged assaults occurred over a two year period from January of 2017 through January of 2019.
The Police Department was advised that the ages of the children ranged from 7 years old to 13 years old during the time frame of the allegations.
During forensic interviews with the children regarding the alleged assaults, their statements disclosed that there had been multiple occasions when Richardson had engaged in inappropriate touching.
Law enforcement went to Richardson’s residence, which is located 0.2 miles from the Spooner Elementary School according to the criminal complaint, and Richardson was placed under arrest on January 10, 2019.
The criminal complaint contains many graphic details of Richardson’s statements during his interview with Law Enforcement including that he used adult sexual devices on at least one of the children on multiple occasions; that he had recently set up a camera to record at least one of the children; that he had deliberately exposed his genitals to at least one of the children on multiple occasions; and that he consistently would show the children pornographic videos.
Richardson allegedly told Officers that the only reason he touched the children was for ‘instructional’ purposes, to help them through puberty; going on to state that he had been sexually abused as a young child and that those experiences have affected his life.
The criminal complaint also states that Richardson admitted to possessing child pornography, but said that he did not show any of that to the children.
During his interview with Law Enforcement, when asked by an Officer, “do you think you would do this again?”; Richardson responded, “Yes I would, I don’t trust myself.” The criminal complaint against Richardson concludes by stating that the investigation is ongoing and that additional charges are likely to be filed against him.
Richardson is currently charged with the following:
- Class B Felony Repeated Sexual Assault of a Child
- Class B Felony 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child Under Age 12
- Class B Felony Sexual Assault of a Child Under 16 Years of Age
- 3 Counts of Class C Felony [Unlawful Sexual Contact With a Child]
- 2 Counts of Class I Felony Exposing a Child to Harmful Material
- 2 Counts of Class F Felony Causing Child Under 13 to View/Listen to Sexual Activity
- 2 Counts of Class I Felony Exposing Genitals
If convicted of all these charges, Richardson faces a potential maximum sentence of over 300 years confinement in state prison.
According to Washburn County District Attorney Winton, at a bail bond hearing for Richardson on January 10, 2019, the State requested a “high cash” bail bond due to the seriousness of the charges against Richardson and because the State believes him to be a potential flight risk.
Washburn County Circuit Court Judge Harrington, however, ordered a cash bail bond of $1,000 for Richardson; details of any other bail bond conditions are not listed in the online circuit court record at the time of this post.
An initial appearance for Richardson was held on January 14, 2019, and he appeared while in custody. At the time of this post, Richardson remains in the custody of the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office and is scheduled to appear again later this month for a preliminary examination hearing.
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Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.