Former pastor charged with sexual assault in Douglas County

A former pastor is behind bars in Douglas County, charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a...
A former pastor is behind bars in Douglas County, charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a child.(Douglas Co.)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 7:48 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 8:44 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Attorney General Josh Kaul and Douglas County District Attorney Mark Fruehauf announced Tuesday that a former pastor from Douglas County was charged with sexual assault for incidents that stemmed back from 2005-2010.

Jeffrey Anthony Charles, 61, was charged with with one count of repeated sexual assault of a child- persistent repeater.

“We are committed to holding perpetrators of sexual assault accountable,” Attorney General Kaul said. “Thank you to DA Fruehauf for his continued partnership with the Clergy and Faith Leader Abuse Initiative, and for the work of his office and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in seeking justice in this case.”

According to the criminal complaint, Charles served as the pastor for the Neighbors to Nations church in Princeton, Minnesota at the time of the assaults and parishioners routinely traveled to Charles’ cabin in the Town of Summit, Wisconsin. The complaint states that Charles sexually assaulted the victim three to four times at his cabin in Summit over the five year period, when the victim was between the ages of three and seven years old.

Charles was previously convicted of third degree sexual abuse in Iowa in 1997.

Fruehauf reported this case to the Clergy and Faith Leader Initiative.

“It is very common for child sexual assault victims to disclose prior abuse for the first time long after it has happened, sometimes years later,” Fruehauf said. “Even in that circumstance, crime victims should know that they will be listened to and taken seriously, that their case will be investigated, and that while charges may not be able to be brought in every case, appropriate cases can and will be prosecuted.”

Anyone who has any further information about Charles’ alleged actions are encouraged to report that information to DOJ either online or by calling 1-877-222-2620.

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