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Man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting two girls

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A young River Falls man pled guilty to a couple of third-degree sexual assaults Thursday, Dec. 15 in Pierce County Circuit Court.

Bradley J. Hetchler, 20, 903 Orange St., was originally charged with second degree sexual assaults from a May incident and two counts of first degree sexual assaults from a July incident.

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He pled guilty to the amended third degree charges in each incident as part of last week's agreement.

The third-degree sexual assaults are Class G felonies. Hetchler will be formally sentenced Feb. 14.

May

According to the criminal complaint, River Falls police were notified of an alleged sexual assault case in early June.

The 16-year-old female victim told police the incident happened May 20 somewhere in River Falls. She used the phrase "Brad's house" to describe where.

The girl said she didn't know anything else other than that the male suspect involved was between 19 and 20 years old.

On the night in question, the victim said she and friends stopped by Hetchler's trailer house. A party was going on with 10-15 people. Alcohol and marijuana was available.

The victim had a drink. It made her feel weird and light-headed. She went into a back bedroom to lie down.

After 10-15 minutes, a man came into the room. She recognized him as Hetchler.

He shut the door and assaulted her, the victim said in the complaint.

"Don't move or it's going to be worse," she remembers Hetchler telling her. He told her repeatedly to be quiet, then left.

The victim then went to another room, spent the night and waited for a friend to come by and pick her up.

The next day police arranged a photo lineup. The victim, with no uncertainty, identified Hetchler as her assailant.

A few days later police questioned Hetchler. He was arrested and, while being taken to jail, admitted to kissing and other contact with the victim, but not having intercourse or assaulting her.

July

On July 28 River Falls police were notified of an alleged sexual assault at Hetchler's address.

The 14-year-old female victim told law enforcement she was assaulted by Hetchler.

A witness told law enforcement he saw Hetchler take the victim by the elbow and pull her to his bedroom.

He added he saw the victim attempt to pull away. He also stated he believed the victim was drunk.

River Falls police questioned Hetchler again. He said the girl was in his bedroom, that she was sick and needed to lie down. He denied having contact or intercourse with her.

When questioned, the victim said she'd been drinking that day. Some alcohol was supplied to her by Hetchler.

She doesn't recall all what happened, but does remember telling Hetchler she was 15 and of being assaulted. She added she didn't want the assault to happen and tried to get away.

She described details of the assault, including Hetchler telling her not to tell anyone and to be quiet while it happened.

Another witness who said she was there that night said she wouldn't believe the victim would ever agree to sexual contact or intercourse.

She also said the victim and Hetchler met for the first time that day. Many people told law enforcement the victim was in tears after leaving Hetchler's room.

Another witness told law enforcement that after speaking with Hetchler, he denied raping the victim and said the sex was consensual.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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