Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Around the Winnebago courthouse: OCI nurse has sex with inmate; also probation, meth, sex registry cases

By Miles Maguire
A city woman pleaded no contest Thursday to charges that she engaged in a sexual relationship with an inmate while she worked as a registered nurse at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution.

The woman, 51-year-old Cherie L. Nelson, “had previously been walked out” from a nursing job at Dodge Correctional Institution and was working as a contract nurse at Milwaukee County Jail when investigators met with her in April, according to a criminal complaint.

OCI staffers became concerned when they discovered emails between an inmate, Shaun Lynch, and Nelson, and started to monitor calls between the two. “The conversations were sexual in nature and seemed to indicate there had been oral sex performed by the defendant on inmate Lynch and oral sex performed on the defendant by Lynch,” according to the criminal complaint.

The contact began in the context of a tuberculosis exam, when the two started talking about the inmate’s tattoos. In addition to sex, Nelson apparently provided the inmate with cards, money and intimate photographs, according to the criminal complaint.

Judge Teresa S. Basiliere sentenced Nelson to 24 months’ probation. An initial charge of second degree sexual assault by correctional staff was reduced to fourth degree sexual assault, court records show. The defendant was represented by Brittany Running, and Amanda Gibbs Nash was listed as the prosecutor.

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A 41-year-old Oshkosh man with a long history of criminal convictions had his probation revoked Sept. 19 after he was caught trafficking marijuana shortly after getting out of jail.

Ross A. Wendorf had entered no contest pleas in March to two counts of dealing marijuana, for which he received a three-year suspended sentence and a 90-day jail term with work release, according to online court records. In June he was connected to a suspicious parcel that the Dodge County Sheriff’s office intercepted, opened and then delivered to an address in Rubicon.

Text messages on the cellphone of the woman to whom the package was addressed were traced to Wendorf, who has nine prior criminal convictions, according to a court document.

The package contained five and a half pounds of marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags, according to court records. Wendorf told a probation agent that his role was limited to explaining how to ship the marijuana and that he expected to get only half an ounce to share with his wife.

At a revocation hearing, Judge Barbara Key called the situation “a total failure of supervision” with “the offense being committed literally upon leaving the jail door.”

She ordered Wendorf to state prison for 18 months and ordered extended supervision for another 18 months. Wendorf was represented by Raymond Edelstein, and Margaret Struve appeared for the state.
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A Jefferson Street man who caught the attention of police because he was drinking malt liquor and behaving oddly in front of neighborhood children pleaded no contest Thursday to methamphetamine possession and was sentenced to 24 months’ probation.

Police said they found David J. Van “fidgeting with something in his pockets” and when they asked asked him what it was, he pulled out “baggies and a cut straw,” according to court papers.

Van, 37, was represented by Ben Szilagyi before Judge Barbara Key. The prosecutor was Eric Sparr.

According to court records, Van is currently in the Waupaca County Jail, where he is awaiting trial on charges that include meth possession, maintaining a drug trafficking place and bail jumping.

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A 58-year-old Oshkosh man was sentenced Sept. 23 to 90 days in jail for a sex offender registry violation that dated back almost two years.

Dwayne L. Porter pleaded guilty to charges that he had failed to confirm his home address with state officials starting in 2017. According to court records, a complaint was filed in June 2018, but Porter did not appear in court for almost a year after that.

During that time, Porter is thought to have lived on West 9th Avenue, Broad Street and Main Street, court records show.

Porter was put in the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry Program based on his 2003 conviction in La Crosse County on a charge of third degree sexual assault.

The jail term was handed down by Judge Karen Seifert. Porter was represented by Hannah Kottke, and the prosecutor was Tracy Ann Paider.

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