JEFFERSON — The case of a man accused of second-degree sexual assault has been adjourned after both the defense and state asked for a delay of the jury trial scheduled for next week.
Daniel McWilliam, a 39-year-old Fort Atkinson resident, is charged with one count each of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age, exposing his genitals, child enticement and knowingly failing to notify a school of his sex offender status.
In addition, there are four counts of felony bailjumping.
The adjournment was requested by defense attorney Jessica Klein in September due to a scheduling issue and Assistant District Attorney Monica Hall joined the motion because she recently returned from medical leave after having hip surgery.
“We’d not only not object to adjournment, we’d join the motion,” Hall said in court Tuesday.
Hall, who was on crutches, said she wasn’t in a state to try a case yet.
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge William Hue seemed annoyed by the request for adjournment and further delay it means, saying that the case, which was filed in September of 2018, already is a year old and it should take precedent in the docket because of the seriousness of the allegations.
“This takes precedent as a child-sexual assault. It’s also a 2018 case, which means it’s old,” Hue said. “If you can’t prosecute next week and they can’t defend next week, why was it filed?”
Hue granted the adjournment and rescheduled the trial, but said in no uncertain terms that it would be taking place on the new date.
“If you’ve got something else to do,” Hue told both Klein and Hall, “the answer is too bad.”
Hue asked both attorneys how many witnesses they expected to call for the trial. Hall said she would be calling nine witnesses and Klein said she’d be calling one or two.
Hue also noted how strange this request for adjournment was.
“I’m in a rare position where the judge is the only one that wants to try the case,” Hue said. “It’s just bizarre.”
McWilliam is accused of molesting a teenage girl and attempting to entice her into a room to engage in sexual activity. The alleged victim was 14 at the time of the reported contact in the summer of 2017.
McWilliam faces more than 90 years in prison if convicted of all the charges combined.
The criminal complaint indicates that the charges involved incidents of McWilliam groping and touching the teenager over her clothes. He also reportedly had requested her to sit on his lap and made lewd comments about what he wanted to do to her. McWilliam allegedly acknowledged making the comments and suggested he was joking.
The complaint states that he told police that she said, “I’m hungry,” and he responded, “I’m hungry too, so I’m gonna eat you.” Her description was more lewd in nature in describing his intention.
Both also described an incident in which he exposed his genitals; however, McWilliam denied he had an erection at the time.
After Hue granted the adjournment, a final status conference was scheduled for Nov. 15 at 10:30 a.m.
The trial was moved to Nov. 21 and 22.