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Kenosha police officer fired, accused of sexually assaulting woman in custody at hospital

27-year-old Joshua Sylvester has been charged with felony second-degree sexual assault by a law enforcement officer and felony misconduct/excess authority.
Joshua Sylvester
Posted at 3:40 PM, Aug 23, 2022

A Kenosha police officer has been fired after being charged with sexually assaulting a woman in police custody at the hospital, a criminal complaint says.

Police say 27-year-old Joshua Sylvester was a probationary police officer who worked for the Kenosha Police Department for just over a year. The department said Tuesday he was fired for violating the department's policies and procedures.

Sylvester has been charged with felony second-degree sexual assault by a law enforcement officer and felony misconduct/excess authority.

According to a criminal complaint, a Kenosha detective responded to a sexual assault investigation made against a Kenosha police officer on Monday.

The victim, a 34-year-old woman, told officials she was sexually assaulted while in Sylvester's custody on Thursday during an operating while intoxicated (OWI) investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, her allegations were backed up by Sylvester’s own body camera.

The victim crashed her car into a tree after leaving a bar on Thursday, Aug. 18, the complaint says. She was then transported to Aurora Hospital in Kenosha.

It was during this time that the victim claims she was sexually assaulted by Sylvester in the emergency room.

Sylvester turned off his camera during the interactions, but police were able to obtain full video footage of the entire contact.

According to the complaint, Sylvester also went on the victim's phone and sent himself numerous nude photos she had of herself on her camera roll. His body camera footage allegedly shows him deleting the message to himself.

The complaint details what is seen on Sylvester’s body camera, including the victim exposing herself to the officer. Sylvester allegedly covers up his body camera with his hand, but detectives could still see the officer allegedly touching the woman.

Once released, the victim said she told a friend who convinced her to report the incident to the police. After an official complaint was made, a search warrant was executed on Sylvester's home where he was with his wife and infant child. During the search warrant, Sylvester asked, "Is this about that girl, my body camera was on the whole time."

Sylvester eventually admitted to sending the victim's nude photos to himself and has denied sexually assaulting the victim. When asked if he had the victim touch his exposed penis, Sylvester told detectives he had grabbed the woman’s hand to pray with her.

The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department is leading the investigation.

A $15,000 cash bond was set for Sylvester on Tuesday. He will return to court on Sept. 1 for a preliminary hearing. If convicted, Sylvester faces a maximum of over 43 years in prison and a $110,000 fine.

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