JEFFERSON — A 39-year-old Fort Atkinson man accused of sexually assaulting a teen-age girl in 2017 appeared in Jefferson County Circuit Court for a final status conference Friday before the case heads to trial Thursday.
Daniel J. McWilliam is charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16, exposing his genitals to a child, child enticement, failure to notify a school of sex offender status and four counts of felony bail jumping.
If convicted, McWilliam faces a combined maximum sentence of 93 years and three months imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
In court last Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Monica Hall argued for her motion to determine how many of McWilliam’s three prior convictions will be admissible in court.
Hall argued that all three of his priors should be allowed for reasons of impeachment should McWilliam choose to testify.
The least serious of McWilliam’s prior convictions occurred in 1999 when he was convicted of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent.
But, in 2000, he was convicted of repeated sexual assault of a child after pleading no contest to the charge.
The 2000 conviction put McWilliam on the sex offender registry. In 2018, he was convicted for failure to update his information — a charge to which he pleaded guilty.
Hall said she believed all three convictions should be admissible, but McWilliam’s attorney, Jessica Klein, said she thought only one should be allowed.
“The first two are nearly 20 years old. They are prejudicial as well,” Klein said. “Because of the age of those convictions, I’d ask just one be allowed.”
But, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge William Hue granted Hall’s motion to allow all three.
“I think all three are countables,” Hue said.
This means, if McWilliam takes the stand, Hall will be able to ask if he’s ever been convicted of a crime and he will have to admit to all three convictions.
Hall also told Hue that she and Klein are working on potential stipulations of fact regarding McWilliam’s violations of the sex offender registry and two of the bailjumping charges.
Hall said these could be addressed Thursday in court before the trial begins.
After Hall’s motion, Hue addressed the court’s procedural matters on jury selection.
There will be 12 jurors with one alternate, meaning each attorney will get five peremptory strikes against potential jurors. Hue said the court should call at least 40 potential jurors, with 23 sitting in the box during jury selection.
McWilliam’s case is set for trial more than one year after charges were filed in September 2018.
The investigation into McWilliam began in August 2018 when a Fort Atkinson Police Officer and a Jefferson County Human Services worker conducted a forensic interview of the accuser.
In that interview, the girl — who was 15 at the time — said the first incident between her and McWilliam occurred a year earlier when she was 14 years old sometime between June and August 2017.
The girl was leaving to go to a friend’s house when McWilliam called her into the living room and asked her to sit on his lap — which McWilliam had done before, according to the criminal complaint.
McWilliam patted the girl on the leg began making sexually explicit comments to her, the complaint states.
“I need you to do something for me,” McWilliam said, asking her to strip down and lie down in a bed.
The girl told the interviewer she said she wasn’t going to do that and left the house.
A second incident occurred when McWilliam found out the girl had been smoking cigarettes — which he said he would keep from the girl’s mother if she let him touch her, according to the complaint.
It was at this time McWilliam put his hand over the girl’s genitals and groped her slightly — which the girl told interviewers McWilliam would do sometimes when they were play fighting. The girl said she told McWilliam no and shoved his hand away.
She told him she wouldn’t do that and said if he did it again she’d call the cops, according to the complaint.
After this incident, the pair smoked a cigarette together and they agreed to keep both the cigarettes and the groping secret from the girl’s mother, the complaint states.
McWilliam then told the girl if she agreed to let him touch her, he’d buy her cigarettes, according to the complaint.
At this time in the interview, the girl told interviewers she was scared that her mom knows about the inappropriate contact between her and McWilliam, but is OK with it.
A third incident occurred when McWilliam injured his shoulder and told the girl she needed to get in her bra and underwear and get in the shower with him — while he was completely naked, according to the complaint.
The girl said her mom knew about this and just said not to tell her friends about it.
During these showers — which occurred more than once while the girl’s mother was at work — McWilliam would demand the girl scrub his back, according to the complaint. She told the Jefferson County Human Services worker she thought that if she refused to get in the shower, McWilliam would take away her phone.
The girl told the interviewer that “no part of her” wanted to get in the shower, according to the complaint.
In the shower, McWilliam would be naked and facing the shower with one hand on the wall and the other hand down as the girl used a loofah to scrub his back, the complaint states.
The girl said she heard McWilliam breathing heavy and the sound of water moving while she would scrub his back. She thought he was masturbating, but said she was afraid to look down to check, according to the complaint. The girl said McWilliam’s eyes would shift back at her while this happened.
These showers lasted three to five minutes each time, according to the complaint, and occurred three times a week for about a month.
The girl said she thought McWilliam masturbated when they showered together three to five times, according to the complaint. She said she thought this because of McWilliam’s breathing.
She also said the showers made her very uncomfortable, but McWilliam would yell at her and that she believed he is a violent person.
The girl told interviewers about a number of other incidents as well, including times he slapped and grabbed her butt, grabbed her genitals and asked her for sexual favors.
There also was a time the girl got in the shower and saw a camera mounted, according to the complaint.
While McWilliam and the girl’s mother said the camera was to figure out why pills were going missing from the bathroom, the girl said she saw video of the empty shower on McWilliam’s phone, according to the complaint.
The Fort Atkinson Police Department officer made contact with McWilliam two days later on Aug. 31, 2018, according to the complaint.
While the officer interviewed McWilliam, he admitted he’d been to Fort Atkinson High School the day before without notifying the principal. He also said he recalled telling the girl that her mom was menstruating and he was horny, as well as asking the girl to lie on his bed naked — but that he was joking, according to the complaint.
McWilliam told the officer about instances in which he had the girl scrub his back in the shower but that he was in his boxers and while the girl did see his genitals, he didn’t have an erection.
McWilliam admitted there was a camera installed in the bathroom to catch people stealing his pain medication — but he denied that the shower was in the camera’s view, according to the complaint.
The complaint also states the officer confirmed McWilliam violated his bail and his sex offender registration requirements by committing new crimes and visiting Fort Atkinson High School.
McWilliam’s trial is scheduled to begin Thursday at 8:30 a.m.