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Wrestling coach guilty of child enticement

February 22, 2013 | 02:16 PM
ELKHORN — An Elkhorn wrestling coach pleaded guilty Feb. 22 to a felony charge of child enticement after he propositioned a 17-year-old boy for sex.

Steven Springsteen-Hensel, 32, faces up to 15 years in a state prison and 10 years of extended supervision and $100,000 in fines. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 22.

Springsteen-Hensel was taken into custody after he sent text messages to the 17-year-old. The boy turned his cell phone over to police, and Springsteen-Hensel was arrested in the parking lot of Phoenix Middle School during a sting operation.

Public Defender Travis Schwantes said Springsteen-Hensel pleaded guilty to the charge as part of a plea agreement. Schwantes said the prosecutor will argue for a prison sentence but can't make a specific recommendation.

Schwantes said he will recommend probation. As part of the agreement, another felony charge of attempting sexual assault of a child by a person who works or volunteers with children was dismissed but will be considered during the sentencing.

A presentence investigation (PSI) also was ordered in the case. A PSI is a report generated by the Department of Corrections that examines the Crime, the defendant's history and recommends a sentence.

Springsteen-Hensel was set to have a jury trial on Feb. 25. During the plea hearing, Schwantes also mentioned that the incident occurred one day before the boy turned 18.

According to the criminal complaint:

The 17-year-old 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 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 him.

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 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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