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Friday, May 17, 2024

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Josh Kaul’s Office Left Accused Rapist on Streets for Years Despite 60 New Criminal Charges

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Josh Kaul touted a sexual assault charge against Terence Blackmon because it stemmed from a backlogged rape kit. But his office did not ask for increased bond for YEARS even as Blackmon reoffended SIXTY TIMES.

Terence Blackmon’s misbehavior while out on bail for rape is one of the worst and most egregious examples of an accused criminal flouting the law that we have ever seen.

For almost two years, Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul’s office did not try to increase a signature bond for the accused rapist and alleged serial domestic abuser who has racked up 60 new criminal charges since Kaul’s prosecutor charged him with sexual assault, as the result of a backlogged rape kit, court records indicate.

On Aug. 10, 2022, Kaul’s prosecutor finally asked to amend bond. But for months and months, they did not as Blackmon committed crime after crime after crime while out on bail. Here are just some of his open cases. They are very serious. Some are for domestic violence battery and strangulation/suffocation; others for bail jumping.

Josh kaul

Here’s the timeline.

In July 2019, Kaul’s prosecutor asked for cash bond right after the long-languishing case, which is still open, was filed. The judge gave Blackmon a signature bond. That meant he could walk out the door by just signing a piece of paper.

After that point, Blackmon went on an astonishing crime spree, racking up dozens of new criminal charged and violations of pretrial supervision. The latter started in October 2020 and the former in January 2020. The case is still ongoing two years later.

That means Terence Blackmon has remained on the streets, in one of the most egregious failures to hold an offender accountable that we have ever seen – and that’s saying a lot. Go ahead; run Blackmon in CCAP, the court’s online website. The amount of open cases will blow your mind, and they came WHILE Kaul’s office continued to handle the pending rape case, for which Blackmon was released on the signature bond.

Even though he has racked up at least 18 violations of pretrial supervision and 10 new criminal cases with the collective 60 charges – most felonies – there is no indication in court records that Kaul’s office asked for higher bail to get Blackmon off the streets until August 2022 as he allegedly kept preying on the vulnerable.

Kaul touted the Blackmon charge when it was filed in 2019 because it was one of only a handful of charges to result from the testing of thousands of backlogged rape kits, almost all completed during the tenure of Republican AG Brad Schimel. Only 6 convictions have resulted from the backlogs. Blackmon’s case is one of 9 pending cases. He is accused of raping an acquaintance in her Stevens Point home.

Instead, he’s been released over and over and over and over again on low bail amounts for new charges on everything from strangulation to domestic abuse battery to bail jumping, many felonies. In fact, he’s very active on social media, where he repeatedly shares posts calling women “hoes” and that use racial slurs. He has multiple accounts.

We reached out to Kaul’s office for comment. However, his office never responds to our requests for comment.

What Kaul doesn’t tell people is how messed up the cases have become once they hit court. Furthermore, there were significant delays in processing the Blackmon case. According to the criminal complaint, a DNA analyst completed the rape kit analysis in April 2018 during Schimel’s tenure. There was a CODIS match to Blackmon. However, it wasn’t until May 2019, several months after Kaul became AG, that the rape kit DNA was compared to a DNA swab newly obtained from Blackmon. He wasn’t charged until July 2019.

You can read the criminal complaint in the case here: 7.10.19_Blackmon_Complaint. Prosecuting District Attorney Noel A. Lawrence with Kaul’s office has appeared in the case.

Here’s the timeline of the Blackmon case:

Terence Blackmon was charged with 2nd Degree Sexual Assault/Use of Force. The state, presented by Kaul’s office, asked for cash bond (no amount specified in court records; he was given a signature bond by the judge.)

Kaul’s office repeatedly requested to extend filing deadlines in the long-languishing case.

For unclear reasons, documents were sealed in the case multiple times. From October 2020 through April 2022, there were 18 Justice Point violations by Blackmon, court records show (that’s pre-trial supervision conditions). In one case, court records note: “High Severity Violation Report.” There is no evidence in court records that Kaul’s office asked the judge to increase bond from the signature bond until August 2022. They could have requested a bail review hearing, or filed a bail jumping charge in the rape case, but there is no record of that happening.

Court records note at one point, “Court finds Sexual Assault Kit Investigation (SAKI) is not necessary to this case.” A jury trial was postponed multiple times, motions were filed, and Blackmon’s attorney withdrew. The jury trial is not scheduled now until February 2023.

Since that charge, Blackmon has faced the shocking number of new crimes. The new cases are being handled by the Portage County District Attorney’s office:

2022CF000151: 9 counts of bail jumping. He was given a signature bond. There are five violations of pretrial supervision since then. It doesn’t appear that anyone from Kaul’s office appeared on this case.
2022CF000143: 10 counts of bail jumping and 1 count of failing to comply with an officer. He received $100 bond. The Portage County DA’s office appeared on the case. There have been at least 6 pretrial supervision violations in the case.
2022CF000131: 9 counts of bail jumping and 1 count of disorderly conduct (domestic abuse related). He was given $750 cash bail. There are at least 8 pretrial supervision violations in the case, which was handled by the Portage County DA’s office.
2021CF000469: 1 count of battery as a domestic violence repeater, and 8 counts of bail jumping as a domestic violence repeater. The state, represented by the Portage County DA’s office, requested $1,000 cash bond. He was allowed to post $750 cash bond. There was a “Portage County Justice Programs High Severity Violation Report” filed after that point. There have been 12 other pretrial violation reports.
2021CF000351: 6 counts of bail jumping. The state, represented by the Portage County DA’s office, requested $300 cash bail. Bail was set at $150. There have been 11 pretrial supervision violations.
2021CF000274: 1 count of battery as a domestic abuse repeater. 5 counts of bail jumping. He was given a signature bond. It was upped to $1,000 cash. The Portage County DA’s office appeared in the case. 13 violations of pretrial supervision are listed.
2021CF000014: 2 counts of bail jumping. He was given a signature bond. Again, the Portage County DA’s office handled the case. There are 16 violations of pretrial supervision.
2021CF000010: 1 count of disorderly conduct domestic abuse as a repeater, 2 counts of bail jumping. He was given a $1,000 signature bond. There are 17 violations of pretrial supervision. The Portage County DA’s office handled the case.
2021CF000009: 1 count of strangulation and suffocation as a repeater, 1 count of threats to injure, 1 count of domestic violence related battery; two counts bail jumping. He was given a $500 signature bond. There are 17 violations of pretrial supervision listed. The Portage County DA’s office handled the case.
2020CF000013: 1 count of bail jumping. He was given $100 cash bond. There are 23 violations of pretrial supervision listed.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Push Questions About IDs For Illegal Immigrants, Voting

(The Center Square) – Some Wisconsin lawmakers are trying to calm fears about illegal immigrants getting IDs and voting in the state.

The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections and the Senate Committee on Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection held a hearing Thursday with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, some local election clerks and Fond du Lac County’s district attorney.

“We're not trying to get anybody into a bad spot here, or in a corner, or make accusations on that level,” Sen. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, said. “We want our clerks, who are already stressed enough, to know that we are here to be there as an assist to them.”

Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, said he wants to make sure voters have faith in Wisconsin’s electoral process.

“This is one of the topics that hit our inboxes quite a bit the last three months or so,” Krug added. “We thought it’s pretty important just to vet it out, to get all the information out to the public.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission was invited to Thursday’s meeting but didn’t attend because commissioners were having a meeting of their own. But that left lawmakers’ questions unanswered.

Wis-DOT Deputy Secretary Kristina Boardman said Wisconsin is known as a strict voter ID state.

“I want to make very clear that Wis-DOT is required to provide free identification cards for U.S. citizens that request them for the purposes of voting, and that to be eligible for that free identification card one must be a U.S. citizen and at least 17 years of age,” Boardman said. “Wis-DOT staff do not determine voter eligibility or register anyone to vote. Someone who has a Wisconsin ID or a driver's license is eligible to register to vote online, and that information will be confirmed with Wisconsin DMV systems to ensure that the information entered for voter registration is consistent with the DMV's records

Boardman said in Wisconsin, less than a fraction of one percent of ID requests are fraudulent.

“We put together [a] case activity report, assemble all of the documentation that we have, we have the investigator that had the case pull that together, and we do refer that to law enforcement so that they can take whatever action is appropriate,” Boardman added. “We note what statutes we believe may have been violated. And then it's up to law enforcement to take action.”

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Senate Republicans Override Evers’ Vetoes

(The Center Square) – On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted to override nine vetoes from Gov. Tony Evers, including the vetoes that scuttled PFAS clean-up money, millions of dollars that were earmarked for hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls and a plan that would allow advanced practice registered nurses to work more independently.

“The legislature has passed hundreds of bills to solve problems facing Wisconsin businesses and families. Most of these bills were signed into law, but many were vetoed by a governor more focused on politics than policies that help everyday Wisconsinites,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said Tuesday. “Overriding the governor’s obstructive vetoes is the last, best way to address these critical issues.”

The override votes came one day after Evers sued the legislature over nearly $200 million that is attached to some of his vetoes.

Most of that money is the $125 million that’s supposed to go toward PFAS clean up in Wisconsin.

“For the fifth time this legislative session, I voted to provide Wisconsin families with the largest investment in clean drinking water in state history – five more times than every Democrat legislator in this state combined. The bill that Gov. Evers vetoed (SB 312) would have created a grant program that targets this critical funding to areas of the state most heavily impacted by PFAS contamination while protecting innocent landowners from financial ruin,” Sen Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, said.

Evers has accused the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee of obstructing his plans to clean up Wisconsin’s drinking water, and of delaying his other actions across the state.

LeMahieu said Evers is simply playing the game.

“While Gov. Evers plays politics, the legislature will continue to do the right thing on behalf of the people of our state,” LeMahieu added.

Senate Democrats responded with game-playing accusations of their own.

“Coming in to do all these veto overrides was clearly a stunt to try to appeal to voters ahead of the fall election,” Den. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, said. “Clearly Republicans were hearing from things in their district and wanted political cover. I don't think they got political cover today. I think what they got was people realizing just how afraid they are.”

But Tuesday’s veto overrides are largely symbolic.

While Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have a veto-proof majority, Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly do not.

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Trump Holds Lead Over Biden Heading Toward November

With less than half a year until the 2024 presidential election, former President Donald Trump holds a sizable lead over incumbent President Joe Biden in several swing states.

While the overall national polling varies and shows a tighter race, Trump holds significant leads in several swing states.

According to Real Clear Politics, Trump leads in a slew of key battleground states like Arizona (+5.2), Georgia (+4.6), Michigan (+0.8), Nevada (+6.2), North Carolina (+5.4), Pennsylvania (+2.0), and Wisconsin (+0.6).

Other polling has shown Trump with a dominant lead in the Sun Belt while performing less well against Biden in some rust belt swing states.

“As the old saying goes, good gets better and bad gets worse, and it’s clear President Biden is in bad shape right now,” Colin Reed, a Republican strategist, former campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and co-founder of South and Hill Strategies, told The Center Square. “Five and a half months is an eternity in politics, and there’s theoretically still time to right the ship, but it’s getting late early for the president, especially when Father Time remains undefeated and doubts about his age continue to grow. “

According to the Real Clear Politics’ national polling average, Trump leads Biden 46.1% to 44.9%.

A New York Times poll released this week showed leads for Trump in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania but slightly trailing Biden in Wisconsin, raising concerns among supporters.

Trump’s lead has been in large part fueled by minority voters flocking to his side.

Meanwhile, Biden’s approval rating has plummeted since taking office. While that is not unusual for incumbents, Biden’s approval is lower than recent presidents.

Gallup recently released polling data showing that in the 13th quarter of Biden’s presidency, he averaged a 38.7% approval rating, worse than Trump at the same time in his term.

“None of the other nine presidents elected to their first term since Dwight Eisenhower had a lower 13th-quarter average than Biden,” Gallup said.

Axios reported this week that Biden and his team think the polls don’t represent Americans’ actual feelings and that the president’s position is strong.

“They're still 50% (well 45%) to win, per betting markets,” pollster Nate Silver wrote on X. “But Biden has been behind Trump in polls for a year now. His approval is in the tank, and voters have been clear they think he's too old. If Trump wins, history will not remember Biden kindly.”

Meanwhile, Trump spends valuable campaign time in a series of court appearances for his myriad of federal prosecution court dates.

“I’m under a gag order,” Trump told reporters after a court appearance Tuesday. “Nobody has actually seen anything like it ... I'm beating him in every poll and I have a gag order, so I think it's totally unconstitutional."

Republicans have blasted Biden for Trump’s prosecution, accusing Biden of using the Justice Department against his political opponent.

“Despite Far Left Democrats’ illegal election interference, President Trump is beating Joe Biden in the polls!” Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., wrote on X Tuesday. “Voters see right through the sham Biden Trials and know President Trump is the best choice for president.”

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