Morning State News Briefs: Supreme Court heards arguments in S.C. Johnson caseWisconsin News
-- The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on whether a Racine businessman can review the mental health records of a young woman he’s accused of molesting.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on whether a Racine businessman can review the mental health records of a young woman he’s accused of molesting.
Curt Johnson, an heir to the Johnson family fortune, has pleaded innocent to have illegal sexual contact up to 20 times with the youngster from 2007-to-2010. His attorney, Mark Richards, told the justices that he wants to find out if the teen ever told her therapists that she was sexually-abused. Richards contends that two therapists who met with the youngster never reported sex abuse to authorities, as required by law. The woman in the case is now 18. She and her mother no longer live in Wisconsin, and they’ve been fighting Johnson’s request to obtain the victim’s mental health records. The justices did not indicate when they might make a decision. Johnson’s criminal case is on hold until then. He had retired from the chairman’s post at Diversey Incorporated, a cleaning products firm that was spun off from S.C. Johnson.
Growing numbers of Wisconsinites are sitting down to their computers to file their state income tax returns – only to see that identity thieves beat them to it. State consumer protection officials say they’re getting more complaints that somebody filed a tax return in their name – apparently to get another person’s refund. The agency has not said how many people have been victimized, but it has led to a state lawsuit against the owner of a Milwaukee tax service. Consumer officials say people should report any evidence of fraudulent tax filings immediately.
A parent who volunteered at a Waukesha County elementary school will spend six years in prison for inappropriately touching an eight-year-old student. 42-year-old Anthony Pico must also spend 10 years under extended supervision when he finishes his prison term. Pico was charged last April with first-degree child sexual assault for an incident at Summit Elementary School in Oconomowoc. A jury found him guilty in December. His attorneys promise an appeal.
Testimony begins today in the trial of Chad Chritton, the Madison man accused of torturing and starving his 16-year-old daughter for several years. Sixteen jurors, including 10 women, were chosen yesterday in Dane County Circuit Court. Twelve of them will decide whether the 41-year-old Chritton is guilty of seven charges that include false imprisonment, reckless endangerment, abuse, and causing mental harm. Prosecutors said Chritton and his wife locked her in their basement until she escaped last February. The girl told police she was beaten, starved, and forced to eat feces as she slimmed down to 68 pounds. One witness said he thought the girl looked like she was eight instead of 15. Over 100 potential witnesses could testify in a trial that’s scheduled to run for two weeks. Chritton’s wife Melinda is scheduled to go on trial in April on the same seven counts as her husband. Her son Joshua is set for a June trial for allegedly molesting the girl.
Organizers of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon are catching up with those who wrongly claimed they were connected with the event’s sponsors, so they could get a registration discount. Officials said about 300 people abused the sign-up system, by inappropriately using a discount code for employees and families of the marathon’s six major sponsors. The race is about 12 weeks away – and those who wrongly claimed the discount are being told to either pay the full fee or not participate. Full entry fees range up to 110-dollars – and sponsors say those cheating to get discount are taking money away from charities that share the fee revenues. Over 82-hundred people have signed up for the Green Bay Marathon, and about three-percent have claimed the sponsor discount.
Two boys in Madison face juvenile delinquency, after they allegedly pulled a real-looking gun from a backpack on a transit bus. It happened last Thursday. Two middle school students, ages 13 and 14, were arrested the next day. Police quoted witnesses as saying the boys pulled out the real-looking gun and might have pointed it at others. Investigators found a pair of BB guns and ammunition at one of the youngsters’ homes. The teens were taken to Madison’s Juvenile Reception Center. They face juvenile counts of using a facsimile firearm.
You’ve probably heard that duct tape can be used for almost anything – and in Wausau, youngsters will learn how to use it to make things to make common household items. The Marathon County Public Library is holding an event tonight, where third-through-sixth graders will learn how to make things like wallets, flowers, and cell-phone cases using just duct-tape. It’s said to be the universal solution to almost any construction problem – and library assistant Amy Ryan says duct tape is not just for sticking things to each other anymore. She says the product is coming into its own as a craft medium, and tonight’s program is designed to get more kids active in making those crafts.