A man accused of groping an Evansville woman Sunday afternoon had followed her from a store in Janesville to her home, a prosecutor said in court Tuesday.
“This is extremely disturbing behavior,” Assistant District Attorney Scott Dirks said as Tyler J. Brazee, 32, of Beaver Dam, made his initial court appearance.
Brazee was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, lewd and lascivious behavior, battery and disorderly conduct.
Brazee turned himself in to police, and his criminal record shows no significant prior offenses, public defender Jim Fitzgerald said during arguments over bond.
But Brazee at first denied ever being in Evansville, and when confronted with video evidence, he hesitated for several minutes and then said, “I did a terrible (expletive) thing,” Dirks said.
Brazee then said he followed the woman because she had cut him off in the parking lot of the Target store, and he wanted to yell at her, according to the criminal complaint.
Brazee admitted yelling and throwing the woman to the ground but denied the accusation of sexual behavior, according to the complaint.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the woman’s residence after a report of screaming and an assault around 2 p.m. Sunday.
The woman told police she noticed the man following her from Janesville, and she had a handgun in her purse, for which she had a concealed-carry permit.
The woman told police he confronted her at her residence, and after he grabbed her, he told her to drop the purse. She refused, which seemed to anger him, and he hit her on the head before fleeing, according to the complaint.
The woman told police she tried to take a photo of the man’s car, but she was shaking so badly that she couldn’t.
The woman screamed to passersby, who came up with a license plate number, leading police to Brazee, according to the complaint.
Dirks said Brazee clearly wanted to sexually assault the woman. The complaint states he exposed himself and groped the woman as he pushed her into a window on the porch at her residence.
Brazee kept her from getting to her purse during the struggle, “otherwise he might very well be dead right now,” Dirks said.
Dirks argued for $4,000 cash bond to protect the public and ensure Brazee shows up for court hearings. Dirks said jail time is likely, although the charges against Brazee are all misdemeanors.
Fitzgerald argued for a signature bond, saying the charges are only allegations based on the statement of one person, and Brazee has a stable job and has lived in Beaver Dam for seven years.
Court Commissioner Larry Barton imposed a cash bond of $3,500, which Brazee indicated he would likely pay to get out of jail pending further proceedings. He ordered Brazee to have no contact with his accuser.
Brazee is scheduled to appear in court next on Wednesday, Dec. 19.