A 37-year-old man who previously lived in Onalaska is accused of sexually assaulting a child, getting her pregnant.

Bruce L. Nelson was charged Wednesday in La Crosse County Circuit Court with repeated sexual assault of a child, child enticement, contributing to truancy and resisting an officer.

Together, the charges carry more than 65 years of potential prison time.

Bruce Nelson


According to police:

In January, a school resource officer at a La Crosse area high school was told that a 13-year-old student was pregnant.

School staff believed the girl had been dating a 17-year-old boy from Onalaska. However, one of the girl’s neighbors had spotted an older man, later identified as Nelson, visiting her house.

The girl’s mother sent police a photo of Nelson, saying she believed him to be the father of her daughter’s baby.

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She also sent screenshots of text conversations between Nelson and her daughter. In one of the texts, the man said: “I can’t believe I have a sexy as queen like you in my life with my baby in you.”

Speaking with investigators this spring, the girl said the father of her child was a 19-year-old man named Tone McPherson. Police determined that was a fake name used by Nelson.

The girl said she met Nelson when she was in sixth or seventh grade, but that they had started dating more recently.

When the girl informed Nelson that she had spoken with police, he abruptly moved to Chicago, she said. He was arrested Monday in Onalaska.

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Kyle Farris can be reached at (608) 791-8234 or kfarris@lacrossetribune.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Kyle_A_Farris.