Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Jury convicts man of 4 counts of sexual assault

February 14, 2013

A Walworth County jury found a 26-year-old Washington state man guilty of four counts of sexual assault.

In June 2012, Matthew L. Dennis fondled a 13-year-old girl at a beach and a private residence in Walworth County.

Dennis denied to police that he touched the girl, according to court documents.

However, the jury believed the victim and law enforcementís account of the events, and deliberated for less than 90 minutes before finding Dennis guilty of four of the five felony counts.

Dennis, of Kenmore, which is about 13 miles from Seattle, is set for a March 25 sentencing hearing in front of Judge David Reddy.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment. The maximum term of initial confinment is 25 years and 15 years of extended supervision. The jury reached its verdict in the case on Jan. 31.

During the trial, three police officers and one Walworth County sheriff detective testified. Paula Hocking, with the Walworth County Child Advocacy Center testified. Dennis didnít take the stand.

After the verdict was read, Reddy revoked Dennisí bond and ordered a presentence investigation (PSI). A PSI is a report generated by the Department of Corrections that examines the crime, the defendantís history and recommends a sentence.

Dennis has been in custody since his arrest last summer.

According to the criminal complaint:

On June 30, a town of Delavan officer met with the victim who reported that the assaults occurred on June 27 and 28.

The victim reported that the first assault occurred while she was swimming at a beach in Lake Geneva. While at the beach, Dennis allegedly put his hand into the victimís bikini top and bottom.

The girl said Dennis then allegedly threatened to hurt her if she told her family about the assault.

A second incident occurred at a private residence when the girl was inside of a bedroom. In the bedroom, Dennis allegedly came in and fondled the girl.