A Whitnall High School guidance counselor accused of sexual misconduct with two former students won't face criminal charges.
Michael Neumann, 49, was issued a municipal citation for disorderly conduct and has also been placed on leave at the school, but the statute of limitations prevents authorities from taking further action.
On the last day before winter break, word spread through the school about the allegations against a man who aslo serves as a track coach.
“I’m crushed, schools are supposed to be a safe place,” parent Donna Siettmann said.
Siettmann’s daughter has Neumann as her guidance counselor and was recently interviewed by police.
“She said she had not been talked to inappropriately or touched inappropriately,” Siettmann said.
Greenfield police opened an investigation into Neumann after a parent of a former student told the school district of an incident involving her daughter and Neumann back in 2012. Neumann reportedly told the student he had an inappropriate dream about her.
Greenfield Police Detective Sgt. Eric Lindstrom said they’ve interviewed more than 175 current and former female students during their investigation.
“We were able to locate two victims that had some inappropriate conduct while they were in the guidance counselor’s office while they were enrolled in school in 2012,” Lindstrom said.
One of the victims, who was 18 years old at the time, told police Neumann would tell her to "go against the wall on the opposite corner of the door, so people wouldn’t see” and ask her to lift her shirt and expose herself, which she admitted to doing between five to 10 times.
“The second victim reported that he attempted to get her to show her breasts as well, but she turned him down, then he tried to get her to lift up her dress to show him her underwear,” Lindstrom said.
Neumann denied the allegations when he was interviewed by police, but police said that isn’t why he hasn’t been criminally charged. Lindstrom said the alleged incidents happened five years ago, past the Wisconsin statute of limitations.
“Due to the age of the victims, they were adults at the time this happened when they were in high school, so the time frame was a lot smaller, only being three years,” he said.
The Whitnall School District said Neumann has been placed on leave. Siettman hopes the guidance counselor of 17 years isn’t coming back.
“The students should be allowed to know that he will not be coming back into any sort of administrative position at the school at all,” she said.
TODAY’S TMJ4 spoke with Neumann on the phone Friday afternoon. Neumann said he’s currently sorting things out and cannot comment at this time.