Clear Lake man charged with sexual assault from incidents 20 years ago
A Clear Lake man was charged earlier this month in Pierce County Circuit Court with three counts of second degree sexual assault of a child.
Jeffrey M. Schulz, 47, is alleged to have committed the Class C felony, stemming from incidents that happened over 20 years ago while Schulz was living in Pierce County. He is scheduled to make first court appearance at 10 a.m., Monday, June 16.
According to the criminal complaint:
River Falls police were first notified of the incidents in January 2013 by one of the victims. The victims said the assaults started when she was eight and her younger sister was six back in 1987 (they are now 34 and 32, respectively).
The eight-year-old victim established to authorities during a seven-year span, they lived in three different houses, with only one being in the City of River Falls, and the two others north of Ellsworth. However, the assaults, were not limited to the houses, as she said they were oftentimes riding in Schulz's pick-up truck, traveling in and around the River Falls area.
She told police, as time went on, the sexual contact "progressed to a lot more," as they were assaulted more than once a week and that it happened "often."
As time progressed, she said, Schulz would not use conversation or trickery to perpetrate the assaults. When asked, she also said, she was in "pain of him doing it." The victim also said Schulz would force her to watch while he was assaulting his younger sister.
The assaults continued until 1994, when the victim confided to a friend. The friend eventually confronted Schulz, who said if the assaults continued, he would kill him.
The victim’s mother confronted Schulz as well, who admitted the assaults happened. When that happened, the mother and the victims moved out of the River Falls area to Northern Minnesota.
The younger victim was interviewed and corroborated her older sister, but expanded more on why they finally went to police. She said it was “for healing” and “for protecting for her own kids.” She further said, as they got older, the victims confronted Schulz and he wrote an apology letter to each of them in front of the whole family. The younger victim told law enforcement she burned her letter.
Law enforcement was able to reach Schulz, who initially denied any inappropriate contact with the victims. He did admit to writing the apology letters, but said because family members told him to.
Eventually, he agreed to coming to the River Falls Police Department, but ended the conversation by saying, why is this coming up 20 years later and who brought this up?, according to the complaint. Law enforcement went to Schulz’s Clear Lake address twice afterwards, but were shot down both times.
Pierce County District Attorney Sean Froelich said, in regard to statute of limitations, sexual assault victims have until age 45 to report the alleged crimes.