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Wrestling coach pleads not guilty to child enticement

June 01, 2012 | 03:53 PM
ELKHORN — An Elkhorn wrestling coach, who allegedly offered to perform oral sex on a 17-year-old, pleaded not guilty June 1 to two felony charges, and Judge John Race denied a motion to lower his bail.

Steven Springsteen-Hensel, 31, is in custody at the the Walworth County Jail and has been charged with child enticement and attempted sexual assault of a child by a person who works or volunteers with children.

Click Here to read the criminal complaint

He has been in custody since his May 15 arrest in lieu of a $15,000 cash bond.

During a June 1 hearing, his attorney, public defender Travis Schwantes, argued that Springsteen-Hensel should be released on a $1,000 cash bond because he has no prior arrest record, is from the area and would be living with a friend.

"(His friend) has no concerns whatsoever of having Mr. Springsteen-Hensel live there," Schwantes said. "He has no prior arrests, and dozens of supportive friends and family."

A large number of people attended the court hearing to support Springsteen-Hensel. Schwantes also asked the judge to lift an order that prohibited his client from using a cell phone or a computer.

However, Deputy District Attorney Joshua Grube objected to the modification of bail and argued that Springsteen-Hensel's behavior didn't just stem from one incident.

"There was grooming behavior for about a year," Grube said.

Grube said the prohibition on cell phones and computers was necessary to ensure Springsteen-Hensel doesn't have contact with children.

"There is at least one profile on a social networking site that wrestling club members may be contacts on or be friends," Grube argued.

Grube also raised concerns about the person who offered to allow Springsteen-Hensel to stay with him. Grube said that person has a significant criminal background, which includes charges of fleeing, drunken driving and drug possession.

"He has a huge incentive to flee," Grube said. "This is a publicized case that he might want to avoid by not coming back to court."

Grube also said law enforcement is investigating two additional possible victims. However, Schwantes argued no evidence has been brought forward indicating there are additional victims.

"One day before someone became an adult they were allegedly a victim of child enticement and an attempted sexual assault," Schwantes said.

Race said he wouldn't amend the bond at "this time."

Springsteen-Hensel also waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

According to the criminal complaint:

The 17-year-old boy went to the Delavan Police Department and spoke with Det. Joaquin Alonzo. The boy told Alonzo that he is a student at the Delavan-Darien High School and he has attended the Southern Lakes Wrestling Center since June of 2011. The boy told police he believes Springsteen-Hensel owns the wrestling club.

The boy said Springsteen-Hensel sent him text messages — including "I love you" — which made him feel uncomfortable.

The boy told Alonzo that on May 7 he asked Springsteen-Hensel for a job at the wrestling center. During this conversation, Springsteen-Hensel offered to perform oral sex on the boy.

On May 14, the boy gave his cell phone to Alonzo who text messaged Springsteen-Hensel. Springsteen-Hensel sent numerous text messages, which included: "Maybe you are bi," and "Maybe you should try it."

Through the alleged victim's phone, Alonzo set up a meeting with Springsteen-Hensel at the parking lot of Phoenix Middle School.

After police arrested Springsteen-Hensel, he admitted to sending the text messages and that he was planning to take the boy to the White River Trail to perform oral sex on him.


Tags: Crime, Top of page

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