Former Madison youth minister convicted of child sexual assault

Glen Uselmann
Glen Uselmann(Dane Co. Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 11:21 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A former youth minister who served at a Madison church in the late 1980s and early 1990s has been convicted of multiple counts of child sexual assault.

On Thursday, a jury found Glen A. Uselmann guilty on all five counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child following three-day trial. The 63-year-old Uselmann, who had been living in Kaukana, is now being held without bail and is awaiting a sentencing date.

Uselmann’s conviction comes nearly two years to the day after he was first charged. At the time, one of the victims spoke to NBC15 News and said the abuse the started at Calvary Gospel Church, on Madison’s east side.

Rebecca Byrd, whom Uselmann eventually married and had two kids with prior to their divorce, recounted meeting Uselmann soon after starting school at the church, when she was in the third grade.

In the complaint, Byrd described the church as a place where women were “very dominated” by men there, and where older men often preyed upon young girls. “If you could catch the eye of an older man, it was seen as a status symbol within the church,” according to the complaint.

The complaint states that Uselmann, who was then in his 30s, first started sexual behaviors with Byrd when she was 12 years old and continued for more than four years.

“It was allowed; if anything, it was encouraged. Their behavior progressed and progressed, and I ended up marrying him when I was 18 years old,” Byrd said.

The criminal complaint also outlined a broader issue at Calvary Gospel, one in which the preying on young girls by older men was not only tolerated but actively defended by some in the church.

In one instance, the complaint states that Byrd told a pen pal about what Uselmann had allegedly done to her. The pen pal’s sister informed the pastor of the church, who brought the victim and her parents into his office and warned that if they “talked” about it, it could ruin Uselmann’s life and damage the church’s reputation.

“My parents found out. My pastor found out. My father was a city of Madison cop. I told everyone I thought I needed to tell,” Byrd said. “Instead of anyone doing anything to help me, they all told me to be quiet because it would make the church look bad.”

Byrd told NBC15 News that she’s sharing her story now hoping others will come forward.

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