BARRON COUNTY — A man has been charged with child sex crimes in Barron County following a sex sting operation.

According to a criminal complaint, Joshua Studer, of Deer Park, WI, drove to Rice Lake, WI on March 16, 2019 to have sexual intercourse with a female whom he believed to be a 15-year-old girl.

The criminal complaint states that the Rice Lake Police Department conducted an undercover child enticement investigation in which an Officer responded to an online advertisement titled “toke and poke”. The ad stated that the individual was named Josh and provided a location in Deer Park, WI.

The Officer responded to the ad by email on March 11, 2019 and received an email response shortly thereafter. The name attached to the email was Joshua Studer. The Officer sent 2 photos to the email of a younger female, and received the following response: “very gorgeous indeed, thank you while another question if you don’t mind. Your legal right? Not looking for jail. But otherwise, toke up, see if we vibe, if so then bang.” The response went on to state that the writer wanted to have sexual intercourse with the female.

The Officer received an email with a telephone number; a reverse check of the number indicated that it belonged to Joshua Studer.

On March 15, 2019, the Officer had a text message conversation with the person believed to be Studer. The criminal complaint states that in the text conversation, the Officer indicated themselves to be a female that was almost 16-years-old. The messages from the phone number connected to Studer asked how the underage female managed to sneak away, and when and where she wanted to meet.

The Officer engaged in another text conversation on March 16, 2019 in which the Officer again indicated themselves to be a 15-year-old female and asked if that would scare Studer off. Studer responded: “I am super scared and nervous as hell. But if it’s a sting so be it. Risk it for a life experience.”

Studer continued the conversation describing the vehicle that he would be driving as a green Dodge caravan and clarifying the time that they would meet.

The Officer followed up by telling Studer that if he was too nervous to meet he didn’t have to come and “she” would understand. Studer replied, “on no I’m coming let the chips fall where there may. Either a delicious apple or poison, gotta taste to know, hehe.”

It was arranged that the Officer would meet Studer at a business in Rice Lake, WI on March 16, 2019. Officers were staged on scene at the arranged meeting time, and a Dodge Caravan matching Studer’s vehicle was seen arriving in the parking lot. Studer was taken into custody, and Officers recognized him from not only the photograph that Studer had provided to the Officer, but also from a Department of Transportation photo and from Facebook photos.

Inside Studer’s van Officers located condoms, a bottle of lubrication, some black rope, a whip and other items of sexual activity paraphernalia. In addition, Officers located over 16 grams of marijuana inside a backpack in the van.

When Officers attempted to interview Studer, he allegedly stated that he knew what he had done was wrong, he knew he was going to jail and he is perfectly OK with that; he just didn’t want ‘to make the time he was going to have to serve even worse’.

Studer is charged with Class C Felony Use Of A Computer To Facilitate A Child Sex Crime, Class C Felony Attempt Sexual Assault Of A Child Under 16 Years of Age, Class D Felony Child Enticement, and Misdemeanor Possession of THC.

If convicted of all charges, Studer faces a possible sentence of over 85 years confinement in state prison.

Online circuit court records show that Studer appeared on March 18, 2019 for an Initial Appearance and a Bail Bond hearing on his case The Court placed Studer on a $5,000 cash bail bond. Studer is scheduled to have a preliminary examination hearing on his case later this week.

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.


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