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Rock County Sheriff's Office receives check for sale of sex offender's home

Rock sheriff's office to share in money from sale of sex offender's home

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Frank Schultz
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

JANESVILLE -- Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden is scheduled to receive a check Wednesday for $153,660.

Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Jeffrey M. Anderson will present the check, according to a sheriff's office news release.

The money is the sheriff's office portion of proceeds from the sale of a town of Newark property that belonged to convicted sex offender David G. Wenzel.

Capt. Todd Christiansen of the sheriff's office said the sheriff's office has not decided how to use the money.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said the money must be used for a law enforcement purpose -- things such as operations, investigations, training, equipment or drug and gang education and awareness programs.

Christiansen said the money can't be used to buy weapons or to supplant funding in the sheriff's budget, and it can't be used for vehicles without special permission.

There is no deadline for when the money must be spent, Christiansen said.

The property was sold through the Federal Asset Forfeiture Program because Wenzel, 59, used his home to manufacture child pornography, according to the release.

The federal government gets a portion of the money from the sale. In the past,Christiansen said, the federal government got 20 percent.

Sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at Wenzel's residence March 25, 2015, after receiving a report that he had a video camera hidden in his bathroom. Deputies seized video recordings and found eight that showed Wenzel sexually assaulting a girl who appeared to be drugged. They also found videos of adults who had been taped by the camera hidden in the bathroom.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb on Feb. 4, 2016, sentenced Wenzel to 25 years in federal prison for producing child pornography. She also ordered Wenzel to forfeit his property to the government.

Wenzel also was sentenced in Rock County Court on March 15 on two counts of child sexual exploitation and three counts of second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious person.

A defense attorney said that given Wenzel's age and ill health, he is unlikely to get out of prison alive.

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