LAKE GENEVA — A 38-year-old man has been charged in the sexual assaults of a teenage girl. One of the assaults reportedly took place in public steps away from several businesses.
According to a criminal complaint, several minors told Lake Geneva Police they saw two people having sex near an abandoned railroad bridge near Main Street. Police found Jason Connell with a 15-year-old girl there on August 4.
The two denied having sex, but the next day the teen told police Connell sexually assaulted her multiple times.
"I thought how sad to have something so wrong happen," said Beth Tumas, who owns The Bottle Shop. Her store is about a block away from the bridge.
"We have a beautiful town that people love to come to and this is unique. This is not a normal situation," Tumas said.
According to the complaint, the teen said the first time Connell sexually assaulted her was at a friend's place. She said Connell gave them alcohol, and when she went to sleep on a floor he touched her inappropriately.
Connell told investigators he was homeless but was staying at the home with a mom of one of the victim's friends.
The teen said the next day she went for a walk near the bridge and saw Connell again. She said he gave her alcohol and few hits off of his "dab pen." She fell asleep because she was intoxicated and woke up to see police.
Connell denied having sex with the victim at the home but told investigators they did have sexual intercourse at the bridge. He was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child.
"I'm probably never going to come back to the bridge again," said Alexa Woolard.
Woolard said she visits Lake Geneva frequently and that she and her friend often saw Connell with other men near the bridge.
"I never thought anything like this would happen. It's horrible," said Woolard.
Connell is scheduled to be back in court next week.