WASHBURN COUNTY -- A criminal complaint has been filed in Washburn County charging Eric Keesen, age 38, of Rice Lake, WI, with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime after Keesen allegedly attempted to entice sexual contact with a juvenile female in the city of Shell Lake, Washburn County, WI.
The Washburn County Sheriff’s Office was operating an undercover profile of a fictitious female on a social media platform. The profile presented the female as 19 years of age. On the afternoon of December 30, 2020, Keesen allegedly contacted the female, asking if she wanted to hang out or wanted him to pick her up.
A conversation ensued between Keesen and the fictitious female through the messaging function of the social media platform, and according to the criminal complaint, the female identified herself as being actually 14 years of age, to which Keesen responded by saying “damn” and that he would get in trouble. The complaint states that Keesen initially said he was 60 years old and then later said that he was 28 years old.
Keesen exchanged photos with the fictitious female and the undercover officer sent him a photo of a fully clothed adult female who had given written consent for the photos to be used in an undercover investigation.
The conversation continued with Keesen allegedly asking the juvenile female for “booty” photos; and photos of herself in her favorite panties. Keesen went on to state that he wanted to hang out with the female and offered to pick her up.
The criminal complaint states that in messages allegedly sent by Keesen, he told the juvenile female that he would go slow and that he didn’t want to hurt her if she was a virgin. Keesen also allegedly asked her if she would engage in oral sex.
The photos provided by Keesen were distributed to area law enforcement agencies, and multiple law enforcement officers confirmed that the photos were of Keesen, according to the criminal complaint. The Washburn County Sheriff’s Office was informed that Keesen is a suspect in a series of stalking incidents that occurred in the Rice Lake, WI area. DrydenWire published a press release in October 2020 in which the Barron County Sheriff’s Office asked the public for help in locating Keesen regarding an arrest warrant on charges of stalking. Keesen later appeared in Barron Court regarding that warrant.
Shortly before 9a on December 31, 2020, Keesen allegedly initiated another conversation with the fictitious female. The criminal complaint states that Keesen described what he would do with the juvenile, including kissing her unclothed body and breasts. Keesen asked the juvenile female multiple times if she had a skirt or robe that she could wear while they were “hanging out”.
When the fictitious juvenile female stated that she was nervous about the meeting, Keesen said that he would make her more comfortable by putting a blindfold on her since she was “younger”. When asked what her being “younger” would do, Keesen responded “prison”.
The criminal complaint states that Keesen sent a screenshot from an online map search of the City of Shell Lake to the fictitious juvenile female, asking her to identify where she lived in Shell Lake.
As the conversation continued throughout the day on December 31, 2020, Keesen stated that it was weird that the female was asking him so many questions, saying “Like it’s a setup LOL”.
Shortly after the noon hour on December 31, 2020, Keesen said that he would be leaving his residence and traveling to Shell Lake. A short time later, a law enforcement officer in the area of Keesen’s Rice Lake, WI residence advised Washburn County that an individual was seen leaving the residence.
Throughout the end of the conversation with Keesen, the undercover officer was advised that a vehicle matching the vehicle Keesen was suspected to be driving had entered the city of Shell Lake and was proceeding towards the apartment building where Keesen had been told the fictitious female was. Law enforcement made contact with the vehicle, and the driver was identified as Keesen. He was taken into custody for operating a vehicle with a revoked driver’s license.
Keesen was taken to the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office for an interview, and the complaint filed against him states that during that interview, he confirmed that he had met a female online and was planning to meet her at her residence in Shell Lake. Keesen stated initially that he believed the female to be 19, however as the interview went on, he allegedly admitted that he did have concerns that the female was perhaps underage, going on to say that he planned to check her ID to confirm her age. Keesen allegedly confirmed that he had discussed sexual topics with the female.
Charges of Class C Felony Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime, Class D Felony Child Enticement, and Misdemeanor Operate While Revoked are filed against Keesen. Online circuit court records show that on January 5, 2020, Keesen was placed on a $10,000 cash bond. At a hearing on January 11, 2020, Keesen’s defense counsel made a motion to reduce his bond to $8,000. The Court granted that motion, and the bond was posted later that day. Conditions of bond prohibit Keesen from having or possessing any devices that have access to the internet. Keesen is due in Washburn County Circuit Court again on January 25, 2021.
In Barron County Circuit Court Keesen is also charged with 2 counts of Class I Felony Stalking; 4 counts of Knowingly Violate a Domestic Abuse Order - Injunction; Violate/Harassment Restraining Order - Temporary Restraining Order; 3rd Offense Operate Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated; 3rd Offense Operate With Prohibited Alcohol Concentration; Resisting or Obstructing an Officer; Possession of THC; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Disorderly Conduct; 2 counts of Operate Motor Vehicle While Revoked; and 28 counts of Bail Jumping in 8 separate court cases that have been filed against him. He is scheduled to appear again in Barron County Circuit Court on January 20, 2021.
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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.