BURNETT COUNTY -- A report of a sexual assault at an area church was received by the Burnett County Sheriff's Office on June 20, 2017. Charges have subsequently been filed against Dennis Bistram, of Grantsburg, WI. According to the criminal complaint, Dennis Bistram is facing charges of Class A Misdemeanor 4th Degree Sexual Assault after a female member of the Chicken Coop Church in Grantsburg, WI reported that Bistram assaulted her.
A review of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry shows that Dennis Bistram is a registered sex offender from a conviction in Minnesota for 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in 1996. Bistram is required to register until the year 2021.
The victim initially reported the assault to the Pastor of the church who then contacted law enforcement. The victim stated that on June 18, 2017, she had observed Bistram touching his groin area during the service. She stated further that Bistram allegedly proceeded to follow her around and that she felt he was indicating to her that he wanted her to hug him.
At some point in time after the service ended, the victim stated that everyone else had left the building and only she and Bistram remained in the building. Bistram then allegedly walked up behind her and put his left arm around her under her arm and grabbed her breast. Bistram then reportedly left the building.
The victim stated to investigators that at no time did she give Bistram permission to touch her breast nor did she suggest anything to Bistram.
Charges were filed in Burnett County Circuit Court against Bistram on July 7, 2017. On July 12, 2017, the Court placed Bistram on a signature bail bond. Bistram appeared on August 9, 2017, and entered a Not Guilty Plea to the charge of sexual assault. He is scheduled to appear again on October 4, 2017, for a Pre-Trial Conference.
The maximum penalty for a Class Misdemeanor charge is imprisonment not to exceed 9 months, or a maximum fine of $10,000, or both. It is not known to DrydenWire.com at this time if Bistram's status as a registered sex offender will be taken into account by the Court system in considering a sentence if he should be convicted of this alleged crime.
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.