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Theodore Muellenberg, 18, of Bangor was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for attempted sexual assault and strangling a neighbor.

The victim made a statement before sentencing, advocating that Muellenberg receive five years instead of the maximum 20 years.

“I’m asking the court to agree with the incarceration period of five years,” she said. “I’ll be in a good place in five years. I will be graduated with a career and I’ll be in a stable place.”

Theodore Muellenberg


Others also spoke before the sentencing for Muellenberg, who pleaded guilty in late November to attempted second-degree sexual assault and strangulation in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Judge Ramona Gonzalez sentenced Muellenberg to five years in prison and five years of extended supervision, similar to probation, after completing his prison sentence.

Muellenberg will be placed on the sex-offender registry for the rest of his life, can’t have an intimate/romantic relationship unless his probation agent is aware, and is to have no contact with the victim and her family.

“I have in my 20, almost 24 years, had a lot of strangulation cases. This, Mr. Muellenberg, is the most serious that I’ve had,” Judge Gonzalez said before sentencing. “It is a deep and very strong wound that you have inflicted on this community that you loved and that you were a part of. And you hurt it today,” she said.

Additional charges included burglary-commit a battery on a person and obstructing an officer were dismissed but read into record during the November plea hearing.

Muellenberg entered a neighboring house May 2018 intending to rape a woman before strangling her unconscious and telling police he also was a victim in the case to cover the crime, according to court records.

An 18-year-old Bangor woman called authorities at 11:03 a.m. May 30 reporting that she was strangled unconscious by a masked intruder who grabbed her from behind as she walked downstairs to her bedroom, according to the complaint. She said she tried hitting her attacker.

The intruder fled and she ran to Muellenberg’s house, but no one answered. She then ran to another neighbor’s house.

Muellenberg called police 15 minutes later from his house at 404 Hattan St. when authorities already were outside the victim’s house.

Muellenberg, who had a 2-inch scratch on his forehead, claimed he also fought with a masked intruder, who fled out the front door.

During an interview, Muellenberg confessed to entering the victim’s house through an unlocked garage door carrying a ski mask and hiding in a utility room when the victim went upstairs, according to the complaint.

The victim screamed when she saw him, and Muellenberg could not explain why he strangled her, the complaint stated. He said he fled when the victim “finally stopped fighting back.”

When asked why he entered the house, Muellenberg told investigators, “Rape, I guess,” according to the complaint.

Muellenberg said the victim, who suffered injuries consistent with strangulation, fought back harder than he expected and that he was afraid she was dead when he fled the house. He said he did not have any conflicts with the woman.

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(1) comment


The victim said."I'll be in a good place in 5 yrs." In 5 years when this guy gets out, will his next victim be in a good place? The "Golden State Killer" would break into homes and wait for his victim/victims. This man is going to be a serious criminal. He's only 18 and trying to commit assault and rape. I wonder what he's going to be stewing about in prison for the next 5 yrs.? I'll bet he'll fantasize about what would have happened if things had went as planned. As well as thinking of ways to do things the right way next time. I doubt that this woman will be saying that's OK, I'll be in a better place in 5 yrs. when this predator absolutely destroys, or takes someones life, maybe hers. The victim must have the same philosophy as judge Gonzales. This was just a "blip" in his social development. Remember this guys name, you'll be reading it in the Tribune a little more than 5 years from now.

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