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La Crosse man accused of stalking, threatening woman

From the COLLECTION: La Crosse County Crime & Courts this week series
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A 38-year-old La Crosse man faces multiple charges after being accused of stalking and threatening a former girlfriend.

Joshua Lusk was charged Oct. 1 in La Crosse County Circuit Court with felony counts of intimidating a victim with threat of force, false imprisonment, stalking and bail jumping (two counts) and misdemeanor counts of battery, criminal damage to property and possession of cocaine.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman told police she had been in a relationship with Lusk for about a year. She ended the relationship and told Lusk she no longer wanted to see him but said Lusk continued to contact her. She said the contacts, which were initiated while Lusk was under a no-contact order, made her fear for her safety.

The woman told police about a Sept. 12 incident in which Lusk requested to meet her in person. She initially rejected the request but later reluctantly agreed. After getting in Lusk’s car, she said Lusk drove from La Crosse into the country, where she said Lusk made inappropriate requests of her.

The woman said she tried without success to exit the vehicle but was able to crawl into the back seat. She said Lusk then punched her in the face three times and kicked her in the back. After pleading with Lusk to stop, she said he drove back to La Crosse. She said Lusk apologized multiple times but also threatened to kill her if she called police.

Five days later, the woman said Lusk confronted her at a store and called her vulgar names.

On Sept. 18, the woman said Lusk attempted to contact her 10 times using four different phone numbers. Later that day, she said Lusk followed her to a bar. As she exited the bar, she said Lusk confronted her, took her phone and damaged it by throwing it on the ground. She said Lusk then followed her to a store and asked what she was doing.

On Sept. 30, the woman said Lusk confronted her at a friend’s house and demanded $40 he said she owed him. She said Lusk again threatened to kill her if she called police. She said Lusk then followed her to a convenience store, where a female passenger exited Lusk’s vehicle, knocked on the woman’s vehicle and asked, “Why you calling the cops?”

Police arrested Lusk later that evening and reportedly found a baggie containing a small amount of cocaine in his possession. Lusk reportedly told police it was baking powder that he takes for indigestion.

Assistant La Crosse County District Attorney Jessica Skemp said Lusk’s behavior warranted a “significant cash bond.”

“He has demonstrated that non-monetary conditions are insufficient,” Skemp said.

Lusk is being held in the La Crosse County Jail on $5,000 cash bond ordered by Judge Todd Bjerke. If released, his bond prohibits him from contacting the reported victim.

La Crosse Tribune reporter Steve Rundio can be reached at steve.rundio@lee.net.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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