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Former Milwaukee chairman accused of sexual assault

What is the difference between first and second-degree sexual assault? If a person is convicted of sexual assault, what penalties can that person face? Will that person be required to register on Wisconsin's sex offender registry? Recently, a retired Milwaukee County Board chairman may be asking these and other similar questions after being accused of sexual assault.

A former county chairman faces sexual assault allegations. According to a complaint filed with Wisconsin's Equal Rights Division department alleges that the retired Milwaukee County Board member harassed her and forcibly touched her on his last day in office. The complaint is not against the former chairman; it is filed against the county. She alleges that she was sexually discriminated against. The woman did not work in the former chairman's office, but was a county employee. Neither the man nor the county has been criminally charged in the matter.

In Wisconsin, sexual assault is categorized into four different degrees of severity. First-degree sexual assault generally involves nonconsensual sexual intercourse using violence, threats or a dangerous weapon or resulting in pregnancy or bodily harm. Second-degree sexual assault may involve nonconsensual sexual intercourse through violence or threats.

In Wisconsin, a defendant convicted of first or second-degree sexual assault will likely be required to register for the state's sex offender registry. Typically, a person convicted of a sexual offense and required to be on the registry must remain on the registry for fifteen years; in some cases, a person convicted of a sexual offense may remain on permanently.

A defendant accused of a sexual offense risks more than prison time or a significant fine; they face having their personal information available to the public. Because of these stiff penalties, a defendant should be aware of all defenses that may reduce the potential penalties they face; all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Source: Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Ex-County Board boss Lee Holloway accused of sexual assault," Daniel Bice, Feb. 12, 2013

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