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Mindoro man stands mute to sexual assault charges
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Mindoro man stands mute to sexual assault charges

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A La Crosse County man stood mute Thursday while facing accusations of assaulting a teen in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Judge Gloria Doyle ruled there was probable cause to bind John Koskovich over for trial and entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf as the case moved forward.

Koskovich, 28, Mindoro, was accused of molesting the teen in November and strangling her in the summer of 2019, according to court records. He was charged June 18 with second-degree sexual assault of a child and intentional physical abuse of a child causing bodily harm.

Brett Myers of the West Salem Police Department testified Thursday that the girl told investigators during a June 16 interview with a social worker that Koskovich touched her inappropriately.

“It had been disclosed back in November of 2019 and investigated then by the sheriff’s department and Child Protective Services,” Myers said.

However, the more recent interview gave police more details, Myers said, which gave him the probable cause to arrest Koskovich.

The girl also told a social worker about an incident last summer. According to the complaint, Koskovich got mad at her and swore at her, then she tried to punch him. Koskovich put her in a headlock and the teen said she couldn’t breathe and blacked out, then Koskovich threw her on the floor and called her mother at work. The woman’s employer confirmed that she had to leave early one day due to an incident between Koskovich and the teen.

Koskovich was charged March 27 in La Crosse County Circuit Court with second-degree sexual assault using force, two counts of invasion of privacy using a surveillance device — one of them against a victim younger than 18 — and misdemeanor bail jumping.

In two separate misdemeanor cases, Koskovich also was charged with publishing a private representation without consent, criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct and misdemeanor bail jumping.

Koskovich was accused of assaulting the woman and hiding a camera in the woman’s bathroom and a fan in the teen’s room, according to the criminal complaint. Koskovich was also accused of tampering with the woman’s vehicle. He was released on a $5,000 cash bond with the condition he have no contact with the victims.

Earlier this month, he was arrested on charges with sexual exploitation of a child. He has not yet been charged in that case.

Doyle will no longer preside over the case after Koskovich’s attorney, public defender Thomas Rhodes, filed a request for substitution of judge. Rhodes also denied the allegations on behalf of his client.

Koskovich remains in custody at the La Crosse County Jail on a $5,000 cash bond ordered by Doyle.

Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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