A Whitewater couple were startled in the middle of the night to find a wig-wearing man standing in their bedroom and who later told police he walked into the home in hopes of having sex, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.
It’s not the first time Shane R. Surles, 43, of 335 S. Janesville St., Upper Unit, Whitewater, entered the bedrooms of sleeping women and attempted to sexually assault them. The complaint points to two cases from 1998 and 1999 for which he was convicted of second-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct.
Surles was charged Monday in Walworth County Court with attempted third-degree sexual assault, burglary, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct for the incident at about 3 a.m. Oct. 14.
Two women were renting the home where Surles used to live, the complaint states. One of the women’s boyfriend was over that night. The three are in their early 20s.
This kind of attempted sexual assault case is relatively rare—perpetrators and victims tend to know each other much more than what is alleged in this case.
One of the women told Whitewater police she woke up to use the bathroom. She said she noticed the door leading to the home was slightly ajar, according to the complaint.
While in the bathroom, she heard a door closing and footsteps. She returned to her room and saw Surles standing there, the complaint states.
The woman then freaked out and yelled her boyfriend’s name, according to the complaint. He woke up and said, “Who the f--- are you,” to which Surles said, “I’m no one.”
The boyfriend then chased Surles, who was running away, and pulled off his wig, the complaint states. Surles got away and left the home.
When police pulled up Surles’ photo from the sex offender registry, the boyfriend said, “That’s the creep,” according to the complaint.
Police spoke to Surles, who said he thought the women who lived in the home were attractive and that he “just walked in,” the complaint states. He said he put on his wig so he “wouldn’t be seen or recognized.”
“I went over there, yeah. I mean the door was open. I went in there. I didn’t want to be seen. I wore the wig,” Surles said, according to the complaint. “The one woman went across to use the bathroom and I walked in to the bedroom. She turned on the light. The guy jumped on me. We wrestled, fought, and I left through the front door.”
Police asked Surles, who said the situation excited him, if he wanted the woman to have sex with him, and he said “hopefully, you know, something like that,” according to the complaint. He said he wanted to ask about having sex, adding that he was not going to hurt or sexually assault her.
“It’s that like, you know, the fantasy like I’m going to present her with something,” he said, according to the complaint.
Surles was familiar with the home because it used to be his own, according to the complaint. A Whitewater Property Management official told police two employees reported having issues with Surles because he made them feel uncomfortable.
But Surles was in the home while the two women lived there, too.
The other woman said he told her he left an ironing board in the kitchen area and came over to look for it, the complaint states. But she said he didn’t find one and left without incident.
Surles told police he had been there twice in recent weeks, including one time where a man asked, “Who’s there,” to which Surles said, “Just a friend,” before leaving, according to the complaint.
A Walworth County judge Oct. 15 ordered Surles held on a $20,000 cash bond, court records show.
Surles was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon. Online court records did not immediately list his next court date.