A Racine man is facing hundreds of sexual assault charges and is having his preliminary hearing pushed back due to additional charges.
Shane Stanger, 46, appeared in court Thursday, March 25 in a preliminary hearing facing 200 counts of sexual assault in Racine.
Stanger’s attorney, Alexander Kostal, declined to comment.
Stanger, 46, walked into the courtroom handcuffed with a mask on, in an orange Racine County Jail jumpsuit.
Prosecutors say video obtained by law enforcement shows him sexually assaulting two women and a girl as young as 10 years old.
One of the victims found videos on a laptop showing herself being sexually assaulted by Stanger, according to a criminal complaint released Wednesday.
Stanger is the ex-boyfriend of the victim, according to prosecutors, and they had two children together, though they have not had romantic relations since 2015.
The Office's Criminal Investigations Bureau then conducted a forensic examination of Stanger's laptop and cell phone and found numerous acts of sexual assaults on the original victim, and more videos of an assault on another adult and a juvenile, according to a statement.
Other videos showed the victims' showering and using the restroom without their permission, according to prosecutors.
Stanger was known to have traveled frequently between Wisconsin and Iowa. Because this investigation spans years and crosses state lines, authorities are actively seeking more potential victims.
The Racine County Sheriff's Office is also recommending the following charges, according to the statement:
- 2nd Degree Sexual Assault of an Unconscious Victim (87 Counts)
- 3rd Degree Sexual Assault (4 counts)
- Possession of Child Pornography (2 counts)
- Representations Depicting Nudity, Person Under 18 (3 Counts)
- Representations Depicting Nudity (50 Counts)
- Invasion of Privacy (49 Counts)
If found guilty stranger could face life in prison.
Stanger’s new preliminary hearing is April 15th at 10 a.m. at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center.
Legal experts believe Stanger could end up being tried in Federal Court, because the case involves multiple states.
The latest address for Stanger is in Davenport, Iowa. Investigators believe he has been traveling between Iowa and Wisconsin, carrying out these crimes.
If the same crime is committed in two states, it typically elevates to a federal crime, instead of the same crime being tried in both states. When a crime becomes a federal offense, the suspect will be sent to a federal prison and will face harsher penalties.
“Then, they can stack those harsher penalties up for more prison time, and there is no parole in federal prison,” said attorney Victor Plantinga. “The penalties are calibrated to the age of the victims. If a victim is under 14-years-old, that carries a minimum penalty of 15 years to life in prison.”
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmalng sharing this message with TMJ4 Thursday: “At the end of the day in these types of investigations, we do not take shortcuts. It’s about doing a thorough job investigating all leads to the logical conclusion and building a courtroom-ready case.”