|Four women were assaulted by the same man just off the UW Oshkosh campus on Sept. 17, 2017.|
By Miles Maguire
The local man accused of terrorizing four women early one morning near the UW Oshkosh campus has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison after pleading no contest.
But in a letter to the judge the man, Joshua T. Immel, says he misunderstood a plea agreement that he rejected and wants his punishment reduced. Court records also reveal that Immel, now 29, has suffered multiple head injuries and exhibited symptoms from a long list of mental health conditions.
Immel began his rampage around 2 a.m. on Sept. 17, 2017, according to court records. He entered the room of a 21-year-old woman who lived on Amherst Avenue and ordered her to take her pants off, court records show.
After she drove him off with screams and a four-letter word, Immel set upon the woman’s housemate, who was sleeping in another room. Immel pulled her dress up and started sucking on the side of her neck. The second woman, also 21, managed to maneuver Immel to the front door of the house and onto the porch, whereupon “she slammed and locked the door behind him,” according to a criminal affidavit.
Thirty minutes later, and just two blocks away, police came upon a third 21-year-old woman, who said a man later identified as Immel had followed her and grabbed her by the shirt before throwing her to the ground and getting on top of her. The woman, who reported a concussion from Immel’s attack, was rescued when two young men came upon the scene and pulled Immel away.
Around 5:30 that morning, police were summoned to a blue light emergency phone on Cherry Street, where they found a fourth woman, “sobbing, crying and holding her face,” the affidavit states. The 19-year-old had been pushed down to the ground behind a nearby dumpster, where Immel had been on top of her and in the process of unbuckling his belt when another young man arrived and broke up the assault.
Early last year Immel appeared headed for trial, but along the way he changed his plea. On May 14 he was pronounced guilty due to no contest on the eight charges against him, which included kidnapping, car theft, trespassing and two counts of sexual assault.
Judge Daniel J. Bissett sentenced Immel to 10 years in jail on the kidnapping charge with a consecutive eight years tacked on for second degree sexual assault, a charge that is brought when there is a threat of violence. The other charges carried a mix of concurrent and consecutive sentences that totaled almost 25 years in prison or jail.
A psychological evaluation included in the court file said Immel’s “current diagnoses include bipolar 2 disorder and borderline personality as well as severe alcohol use disorder and severe cannabis use disorder.”
His past traumas include getting hit by a drunk driver as well as “multiple head injuries and concussions that have involved loss of consciousness,” according to court records. His record includes getting jumped, a snowboarding accident and having his head slammed to the ground by police, court papers show.
Although he was not sexually assaulted himself, the evaluation said Immel “becomes preoccupied with having sexual relations” and has “difficulties relating in a proper manner to women.”
In a handwritten note to the judge Immel maintains that he turned himself into police and that he should get “credit for self-reporting my actions the night of 9-17-17.”
He said that he turned down a plea agreement that would have based his sentence on only some of the charges against him. “I thought it would be better to acknowledge for the whole event,” he wrote.
According to a note in the electronic court file, however, Judge Bissett does not intend to act on Immel’s request to reconsider the sentence.