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Deputy accused of sex assault resigns post

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Ted Sullivan
November 25, 2009
— The Rock County sheriff’s deputy accused of sexually assaulting a teen at a Halloween party has resigned.

Steven L. Stenulson, 38, of 1934 Liberty Lane, Janesville, was asked to resign in the midst of allegations he sexually assaulted an 18-year-girl Nov. 1 in Milton, Sheriff Bob Spoden said. The party included underage drinking.


Stenulson resigned Wednesday, Nov. 18, and the sheriff’s office’s internal investigation ended, Spoden said. He could have been disciplined or fired as a result of the internal investigation.


Stenulson was arrested Monday, Nov. 2, after the teen told police she awoke from a nap at a Halloween party and found an off-duty deputy assaulting her, according to the criminal complaint. The two know each other.


Stenulson was charged with second-degree sexual assault, a felony that involves sexual contact with someone not capable of giving consent or who is under the influence of alcohol.


According to the criminal complaint:


Stenulson and the woman were at a party at 518 College St., Milton. The woman became intoxicated and sick and went to an upstairs bedroom to sleep.


She said she awoke to find Stenulson lying in her bed and touching her inappropriately under her clothes. She said she denied his request to have sex.


The woman said they heard people coming up the stairs, and Stenulson quickly moved onto the room’s other bed.


When the two people entered the room, the woman started crying. Stenulson immediately left.


The woman told people what happened. Someone then called police.


Stenulson denied assaulting the woman. He said he had been playing beer pong at the party and went to the bedroom to rest.


He initially said he was on the bed next to the woman but later said he knelt on her bed to check on her.


The woman was taken to Mercy Hospital in Janesville, where a nurse found lacerations and an abrasion on the woman’s genitals.


Blood tests indicated Stenulson and the woman had been drinking, Milton police said at the time.


Karen Ryan of 518 College St., Milton, was ticketed for allowing underage drinking at the party, Milton police said.


Stenulson was placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation, Spoden said. He will receive his accrued vacation and sick pay.


If convicted of second-degree sexual assault, Stenulson faces up to 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.


He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 30 for an adjourned initial appearance.



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