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Wisconsin Girl, 12, Escapes From Sexual Assault Suspect Who Entered U.S. Illegally, Sheriff Says

A 12-year-old girl made a dramatic escape in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, from the vehicle of a suspect who entered the United States illegally from Mexico three years ago and was trying to sexually assault her, the Fond du Lac County Sheriff says.

The girl “had just fled from a vehicle in the area where an adult male had bound and blindfolded her and was attempting to assault her,” Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan F. Waldschmidt said in a news release. “Bravely, she was able to fight back, break free from the suspect and vehicle, and ran to the house for help.”

“It is alleged that the suspect paid the victim’s mother, who he knew, in exchange for spending time alone with the victim,” he wrote.

“Sheriff’s detectives have determined the suspect of the assault is a 30 or 31 year old Nicaraguan man (legal identity yet to be determined based on multiple aliases) who entered the United States illegally from Mexico into Texas in October of 2021,” he wrote.

“At that time he was apprehended by US Customs and Border Protection agents, processed at a federal facility, and released from their custody with instructions to follow per current federal immigration policy,” the release says. “Detectives are still working to determine the immigration status of the victim’s mother. She has also been arrested for numerous crimes related to this incident, and both are currently in custody in the Fond du Lac County Jail. Further arrests may be forthcoming once the remainder of the investigation is complete.”

According to Waldschmidt, on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 12:12 a.m., deputies from the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office “were dispatched to a private residence in rural town of Oakfield for a sexual assault complaint. The caller was a resident reporting a 12-year-old female had just showed up at his door seeking help.”

Due to the nature of the allegations, detectives “were called in to continue the investigation which progressed rapidly over the course of the next 40+ hours,” the release says.

Sheriff ryan waldschmidt
Sheriff ryan waldschmidt. Photo: fond du lac county sheriff

“Detectives were able to determine the identity and location of the suspect and tactical plan was developed to take him into custody,” Waldschmidt wrote. “The Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, with the assistance of the Fond du Lac Police Department SWAT team, executed a search warrant at a residence on Marquette Street in the City of Fond du Lac Monday evening. During the SWAT operation the suspect was eventually taken into custody without incident.”

This investigation is complex and involves “numerous serious potential crimes including sexual assault of a child, false imprisonment, child human trafficking, failure to protect a child, and others,” the sheriff wrote.

“The juvenile victim and her siblings have all safely been taken into protective custody by the Fond du Lac County Human Services,” the release says. “Further details of this case will be released in a criminal complaint when the suspects are criminally charged. Until that time, Sheriff’s Office will not be releasing

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the following agencies:

Fond du Lac Police Department
Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigations
Department of Homeland Security
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue
North Fond du Lac EMS
Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office

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