A La Crosse man charged with repeatedly raping two children pleaded not guilty Thursday after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing.
David H. Costin, 36, also had his bond lowered to $20,000 cash from $50,000 cash in La Crosse County Circuit Court.
Costin’s attorney Chris Doerfler asked Judge J. David Rice to consider lowering the bond to $2,500 or $5,000 cash, saying a recent evaluation found he was a low risk to not appear in court.
“He has lived in this area for his entire life. He’s had no criminal history since he was 17 years old, about 20 years ago,” Doerfler said.
Doerfler noted that Costin had a place to stay with a relative in Winona, Minn., and would agree to GPS monitoring from Justice Support Services.
“It would be away from the victims in this case, and that would help with the no contact,” Doerfler said.
Doerfler also said it was hard to work with Costin on his defense while he was in the jail, due to Costin’s fears for his personal safety.
Assistant district attorney Brittney Wagner objected to Doerfler’s request, saying Costin was housed away from the general population. Wagner added that the $50,000 cash bond was warranted due to the severity of the incident and a previous threat to the victim.
Rice called the complaint “shocking” and said he was concerned that Costin had a previous child sexual assault conviction and the allegations were of repeated sexual assault.
“It gives me concerns about you being a flight risk, and it gives me concerns about public safety, but I’m also required to set a reasonable bond in a case like this,” Rice said. “I’m going to reduce your bond to $20,000 cash. I don’t know whether you can pay that or not.”
Rice also found probable cause to bind Costin for trial in the case based on the criminal complaint filed Aug. 14. In the complaint, Costin is accused of raping the two children repeatedly, including the night of Aug. 8.
“I want him to go to jail forever. I don’t want to see him,” one child said.
The other child said Costin threatened to “sexually assault (him or her) even harder next time,” if the crime was reported, according to the complaint.
Costin was charged in August with two counts each of incest and repeated sexual assault of a child as a persistent repeater, which carries a required sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or extended supervision. He was also charged with felony intimidation of a victim and misdemeanor bail jumping.
He was convicted in 2001 of sexual assault of a child after having sexual contact with a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old when he was 17.
Kahlil E. Mack
Kahlil E. Mack, 18, La Crosse, was charged Sept. 30 with armed robbery as a party to a crime. Mack and two juveniles met a man Sept. 20 at a North Side restaurant to buy THC vaping cartridges, then took the man’s BB gun, $40 and the THC, according to the complaint.
Jesse R. Kirk, 39, La Crosse, was charged Sept. 26 with felony bail jumping and misdemeanor retail theft. Kirk violated terms of a previous bond Feb. 20 when he entered Walmart and stole a TV, according to the complaint.
Caleb L. Williams
Zachery R. Arentz
Zachery R. Arentz, 16, La Crosse, was charged Sept. 20 as an adult with battery by a prisoner and disorderly conduct. Arentz started a physical fight with another person Aug. 27 while in custody at the La Crosse County Juvenile Detention Facility, according to the complaint.
Joshua D. Johnson, 34, Holmen, was charged Sept. 19 with theft from a business setting. While working as a bookkeeper for a Holmen bar, Johnson stole $7,570.50 through forged checks and approving paychecks to himself for hours he had not worked over the course of two years, according to the complaint.
Susan D. Glenna, 48, La Crosse, was charged Sept. 19 with felony bail jumping. Glenna violated terms of her previous bond Sept. 7 when she drank alcohol, according to the complaint.
Geraldine L. Bjergum, 74, was charged Sept. 19 with theft in a business setting. Bjergum withdrew $2,600 from another person’s bank account at several different casinos, according to the complaint.
Cameron Stanek, 31, La Crosse, was charged with resisting an officer causing injury, three counts of felony bail jumping, two counts of resisting an officer, criminal damage to property, misdemeanor battery and two counts of disorderly conduct. Officers were called to Stanek’s residence for a welfare check July 22 and Stanek yelled at police and refused to follow instructions, despite a stun gun being used, and kicked and hit police, according to the complaint. He later broke a mug and television set at a local hospital. According to a second criminal complaint, Stanek fought with a relative Aug. 22, sticking the person with needles and punching them, then remained standing in the middle of the road in violation of police instructions.
Rhonda L. Baskerville, 42, La Crosse, was charged Sept. 17 with physical abuse to a child causing bodily harm and disorderly conduct. Baskerville punched a 12-year-old Aug. 30 and yelled at onlookers, according to the complaint.
Dylan E. Stika, 28, no permanent address, was charged Sept. 12 with disorderly conduct with a domestic abuse enhancer and felony bail jumping. Stika got into a loud argument Aug. 21 with a woman he was ordered to have no contact with through a previous bond, according to the complaint.
Eugene Spears Jr.
Yahyaa Nizaam Kelly
Aaron M. Schrader
Aaron M. Schrader, 28, La Crosse, was charged Sept. 5 with physical abuse of a child and misdemeanor bail jumping. A child told police Schrader hit him in the head and knocked him to the ground Aug. 19, according to the complaint.
Ryan R. Papenfuss, 44, Onalaska, was charged Sept. 5 with uttering a forgery. Papenfuss deposited a forged and stolen check into his bank account in May, according to the complaint.
Tonya N. Novak
Tonya N. Novak, 28, La Crosse, was charged Sept. 5 with possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia, both as a repeat offender. Novak had a fentanyl drug mixture and used needles in her car when she was pulled over Aug. 29 for driving erratically on Hwy. 35 in La Crosse, according to the complaint.
Kyle C. Staples
Neal R. Jensen Jr. and Christopher A. Trigueros
Neal R. Jensen Jr. and Christopher A. Trigueros
Casey M. Hartung and Shannon M. Tabbert
The building at 333 Vine St. is a criminal justice hub. The La Crosse County Courthouse and Law Enforcement Center, which opened in 1997 with …
Jourdan Vian can be reached at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.
In this Series
- 45 updates
Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter
Get the latest in local public safety news with this weekly email.