A former Spooner, WI man has entered a guilty plea to a charge of using a computer to engage in a child sex crime.
Online circuit court records show that Louis French, formerly of Spooner, WI, plead guilty in St. Croix County Circuit Court on October 31, 2017, to Class C Felony Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime. French appeared for his hearing by video from the St. Croix County Jail.
A complaint received by the St. Croix Police Department in August 2017 which stated that French had been using Snapchat to send sexually inappropriate messages to a 13-year-old female victim. The victim had babysat for French's children. The victim stated to law enforcement that French also had sexual contact with her at his residence and while he would drive her home after she babysat.
French was also charged with Class B 1st Degree Child Sexual Assault – Sexual Contact with a Child Under 13, Class C Felony Repeated Sexual Assault of a Child, and Class H Felony Causing Child Under 13 to View/Listen to Sexual Activity. According to online circuit court records, those charges were dismissed but read in by the Court for consideration in French's sentence.
French was working as a basketball coach for Hudson High School. The school placed him on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for French in February 2018.
Former Spooner Resident Charged With Sexual Assault of a Child
Friday, September 1, 2017 | DrydenWire
Warning: content contains material that may not be suitable for all readers
A criminal complaint has been filed in St. Croix County Court charging Louis French, formerly of Spooner, WI, with Class B 1st Degree Child Sexual Assault – Sexual Contact with a Child Under 13, Class C Felony Repeated Sexual Assault of a Child, Class C Felony Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime, and Class H Felony Causing Child Under 13 to View/Listen to Sexual Activity.
According to the criminal complaint, the Hudson Police Department received a complaint of child sexual assault on August 26, 2017. The sexual assaults reportedly occurred while the victim was babysitting for French.
The complainant advised that on the afternoon of August 26, 2017, his daughter, age 13, had been found harming herself and when asked what was going on, informed her parent(s) that French had been sexually abusing her since the 5th grade, with the most recent contact occurring approximately 2 weeks ago.
The father of the victim stated to law enforcement that he viewed some text messages and photos which had been sent by French to the victim's phone. The father described the content of these messages and photos as “disgusting.” The father stated further that he believed most of the communication between French and the victim had been via text and Snapchat.
The victim had been scheduled to babysit for French on the night that the complaint was made to law enforcement, and French reportedly arrived at the victim's residence while the complaint was being called into law enforcement, however, the complainant stated that he sent French away, canceling the babysitting.
When interviewed by law enforcement regarding the assaults, the victim stated that the assaults occurred at French's residence in the City of Hudson, WI and also in French's vehicle while he would drive her home after babysitting.
The victim stated that French would touch her private areas over her clothing. These incidents reportedly occurred in French's bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
The victim further reported that French would come home early while she was babysitting in order to spend more time with her; showering and leaving the door open so she could see him showering.
The parents of the victim reported that they viewed a sexually inappropriate Snapchat message which French had sent to the victim. The parents advised her to respond as normal to see how French would respond. Within a minute, he sent a photo of his genitalia back to the victim.
St. Croix law enforcement drafted a search warrant and based on the photo were able to confirm that the photo was sent from within French's residence.
French has been a basketball coach for Hudson High School. Hudson, WI area news outlets also released a statement from the Hudson School District which states that French has been placed on paid administrative leave. The statement from the school clarified that a background check had been conducted on French prior to his hiring. The Hudson School District requests that any students or families with concerns or information come forward.
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.