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Local man faces sex assault, strangulation charges

ELLSWORTH -- A River Falls man will make his first court appearance in Pierce County Circuit Court next month on charges of second-degree sexual assault and strangulation and suffocation.

Ernest Patrick Sharlow, Jr., 22, 162 Kinni Ct., is scheduled to appear at 10 a.m., Monday, April 8, on the Class C and Class H felonies stemming from a December incident in the city of River Falls.

According to the criminal complaint:

River Falls Police were called to the area of 1450 S. Wasson Lane for a possible domestic dispute Dec. 27.

Upon their arrival at the trailer court, a female juvenile walked out of a trailer, and alleged Sharlow put his hands around her neck and over her mouth and nose, and restricted her breathing to where she almost passed out.

Officers asked her if Sharlow was there; she said he was prior to their arrival.

The victim said the two were texting each other throughout the day, with Sharlow reiterating he wanted to see her. The victim went to see Sharlow and said everything was fine until she tried to leave.

He then followed her, led her into another room, where the alleged choking and sexual assault happened.

She tried to make a noise, but couldn't, as Sharlow tried to quiet her. The incident stopped as soon as Sharlow heard a knock on the front door of the trailer.

Police took photographs of the victim's neck, which had several red marks.

The next day, police, along with a probation agent, went to Sharlow's home. They told him he was under arrest for an incident involving strangulation.

Investigators interviewed Sharlow at the River Falls Police Department. Sharlow admitted he was on probation through 2015 because of an incident involving the victim.

Police then asked him about what he did the previous night. After a first version, he later admitted to texting the victim because he wanted to see her. He said she came over and the two had a pleasant exchange, not mentioning assault and strangulation.

Police pressed him further, asking if he had any physical contact with the victim. Sharlow said the interview was over and that he wanted an attorney. He was then transferred to the Pierce County Jail.

Sharlow was found guilty in Pierce County last year of criminal damage to property and two counts of disorderly conduct.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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