A Wisconsin man was arrested and tentatively charged with battery and fourth degree sexual assault after an incident at Gov. Scott Walker’s inaugural ball on Monday night.
According to reports, the 45-year-old Madison man was accused of inappropriately touching a 44-year-old Onalaska woman on the dance floor and then head-butting a 55-year-old Onalaska man who tried to intervene.
The 45-year-old suspect said he and the woman were merely “having fun and dirty dancing” before the altercation broke out. However, the woman told police that the suspect had been bothering her all night even though she repeatedly told him to stop.
The woman said she sought help from the 55-year-old Onalaska man, who asked the Madison man to leave the woman alone. Police said that when the Onalaska man saw the Madison man bothering the woman again, he intervened.
At that point, police say the Madison man head-butted the Onalaska man in the face, causing minor injuries. Following the head-butt, the Onalaska man said he punched the Madison man.
Police allege that when they arrived at the scene the Madison man smelled strongly of alcohol.
Even though the incident sounds like something that would occur at a high school party, the charges that the Madison man faces are very serious and could negatively affect his life for years to come if convicted.
Under Wisconsin law, fourth degree assault occurs when a defendant “has sexual contact with a person without the consent of that person” and it is considered a Class A misdemeanor.
Wisconsin law also treats battery as a Class A misdemeanor, and it is defined as a defendant who “causes bodily harm to another by an act done with intent to cause bodily harm to that person or another without the consent of the person so harmed.”
It appears that law enforcement and the media have already taken sides on the matter, so the Madison man will need effective legal representation to make sure a thorough investigation is completed and his rights are protected.
Sources: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Man arrested at Scott Walker ball says he was ‘dirty dancing’,” Jesse Garza, Jan. 6, 2014; Wisconsin State Journal, “Police: Man arrested at inaugural ball after touching woman, headbutting man,” Nico Savidge, Jan. 6, 2014