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River Falls man pleads guilty to sexual assault of child

RIVER FALLS --- Brian Popek, 30, 609 E. Spring St., River Falls, pled guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court Wednesday to one count of second degree sexual assault of a child under age 16.

According to the criminal complaint, the act occurred last June in the City of River Falls. Witnesses testified that, a month prior, they began seeing underage girls coming to Popek's address with the belief Popek would buy them alcohol and cigarettes.

The complaint states shortly after that, one day, while they're smoking in front of Popek's bedroom window, they saw Popek and a minor engage in what they saw as a sexual activity. Popek told witnesses he knew the girl as a little sister from one of his friends. Those same witnesses were able to identify the girl when police brought a picture of her. They also believed he knew that she was a minor.

Popek was actually charged with two counts of second degree sexual assault of child, but the other count was dismissed. The plea ended up being a 10-year sentence, three years of confinement, with seven years extended supervision. He will be formally sentenced at 1 p.m. Jan. 29, 2007.

As a result of the plea agreement, charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer from an incident May 7 in the City of River Falls were dismissed.

Popek's name isn't out of the Pierce County Criminal Docket yet, however, as he still faces a charge of second degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim stemming from an incident May 10 in the City of River Falls. His next court appearance on that charge is 2:15 p.m. Dec. 4 for a pre-trial conference.

These latest incidents haven't marked Popek's first time in trouble with law enforcement. He's been found guilty of battery twice, destruction of property, operating after revocation, operating without valid license, disorderly conduct and intimidating victim each once, all within the last nine years.

And the crimes he's been charged with have stretched statewide, including Green, Dane, Dodge, Columbia, St. Croix and now Pierce counties.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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