**UPDATE*** Court Orders Competency Evaluation for Shell Lake Man Charged in Burnett County With 9 Counts of Sex Crimes.
Public record shows that Kody Pettis appeared in Burnett County Circuit Court on April 12, 2017. The Court ordered that a competency evaluation be completed by April 26, 2017. Pettis remains in custody at the time of this update, and is scheduled to appear again on April 26.
DrydenWire.com will continue to update the community on this situation when any significant activity or progress develops.
Editor's Note: This story contains graphic details that may not be suitable for all readers.
Six underage victims have come forward and given testimony to the Siren Police Department that a Shell Lake man engaged in sexual acts with them. The resulting investigation resulted in 9 felony counts being filed in Burnett County against Kody Pettis.
According to the criminal complaint obtained and reviewed by DrydenWire.com, Kody Pettis, of Shell Lake, Wisconsin, utilized Facebook to befriend and to communicate with at least 6 underage victims, allegedly leading to sexually related interactions with all 6.
The first incident listed in the criminal complaint occurred on November 22, 2016, in which Pettis coerced one victim into giving him a 'handjob'. The victim was 13 at the time and Pettis was 20. Pettis apparently followed up after this encounter by sending messages asking the victim to not say anything.
During interviews conducted with the victims, the Siren Police Department discovered that some of the victims knew each other and that Pettis communicated with at least one victim, telling that victim to tell another victim to 'not say anything'. Pettis also apparently communicated with a brother of one victim, sending him a picture of naked male genitalia and asking the brother to help him 'get with' the victim.
The complaint alleged that Pettis utilized the Facebook Messenger app to communicate with the victims and exchange naked pictures and arrange possible meetings to engage in sexual activities. While interviewing the victims, investigators discovered that Pettis convinced at least one of the victims to exchange naked photos with him; and that he communicated with the victims about having sexual intercourse with them.
The criminal complaint states that Pettis told at least one of the victims his own age was 20 years old and that the victim confirmed their age as 15 years old. One of the victims provided investigators with a conversation in which Pettis said that he was sorry and where he also said he was “done talking to you youngsters. I gotta stop being a f***ing creep.”
The victims range in age from 14 years old to 17 years old.
Pettis has been charged with 9 felony counts, to include 1 count of 2nd degree sexual assault, a Class C Felony; 3 counts of Child Enticement – Expose Genitals, a Class D Felony; 3 counts of Child Enticement – Sexual Contact, a Class D Felony, 1 count of Use a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime, a Class C Felony; and 1 count of Child Sexual Exploitation, a Class F Felony.
The charges Pettis faces carry maximum penalties of 25 to 40 years confinement in state prison if convicted as charged.
Public record shows that Pettis appeared on April 10, 2017, for a bail bond hearing and the court ordered a cash bond of $10,000 and no use of social media and no contact with juveniles under 18 unless a member of the household where he is living. Pettis is next scheduled to appear in Burnett County Circuit on April 12, 2017, for an Initial Appearance on his felony charges.
DrydenWire.com reminds our readers that arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent until convicted by judge or jury.