A 94-year-old retired La Crosse priest will appear in court June 3 after accusations of sexual assault.
Msgr. Bernard McGarty of La Crosse was arrested on charges of fourth-degree sexual assault and released on a signature bond, according to the police report.
According to the incident report:
On May 15, the victim told La Crosse Public Library security about an incident that took place on May 11. She said it happened at one of the benches behind the library about 5 p.m.
On May 16, library security reported the incident to La Crosse police.
The victim told police the man said his name was Bill and offered her money for sex. He also took her hand and put it on his genitals, and tried to kiss her.
Library staff was able to identify McGarty from security footage because they recognized him from the news.
In 2014, McGarty was fined for disorderly conduct in Wausau, Wis., for exposing himself during a massage and asked the masseuse to rub his genitals.
Video surveillance showed McGarty sitting with the victim on the bench. McGarty handed her something, later discovered to be $20, and then pulled her hand onto his lap.
You have free articles remaining.
Police located McGarty at his residence for questioning.
McGarty said he had a brief conversation with the victim but nothing else happened.
McGarty said he gave her $20 because she was homeless and denied any physical contact with her.
Police told him a surveillance video revealed there was physical contact and asked McGarty why he put the victim’s hand on his genitals.
McGarty continued denying doing so.
Police arrested McGarty on charges of fourth-degree sexual assault and issued McGarty a signature bond.
Jack Felsheim, director of communications and public relations from the Diocese of La Crosse, issued a statement:
“On May 16, 2019, the Diocese of La Crosse learned of a recent situation at the La Crosse Public Library involving Msgr. Bernard McGarty, 94, a retired priest of the Diocese of La Crosse. According to diocesan policy Msgr. McGarty, from this moment forward, is on a leave of absence from public ministry while this current situation is being investigated. Due to this being an ongoing investigation, the Diocese of La Crosse has no further comment at this time.”
Kristina A. Broszeit
Mark L. Jamesson
Craig A. Seidel
Brian E. Baradic
Nathen P. Herzer
Glen P. Taylor Jr.
James N. Morford Garcia
Dennis M. Pakutz
Tyrone K. Schara
Joseph T. Schmitt
Homer D. Taylor Jr.
Rachael W. McBain, 28, La Crosse, was charged May 24 with possession of methamphetamine, possession of THC, possession of drug paraphernalia and operating a motor vehicle while revoked. McBain had 0.1 grams of meth and 6.7 grams of marijuana in a small purse April 21 when she was pulled over for operating a motor vehicle after her license was revoked, according to the complaint.
Zachary D. Miller
Jamie L. Kirby
Jamie L. Kirby, 27, of West Salem, was charged May 22 with manufacturing/delivering three grams or less of heroin, possession with intent to deliver heroin and possession of THC. Police discovered 5.4 grams of heroin/fentanyl and 6.6 grams of marijuana May 17 in the car Kirby was driving, according to the complaint.
Jeffrey W. Onsgard, 63, Onalaska, was charged May 21 with felony retail theft as a repeat offender. Onsgard took a $799 self-leveling rotary laser level from the Onalaska Menard’s and left without paying for it, then sold it at Pawn America, according to the complaint.
Sysou V. Lee
Bruce M. Finch
Lermonte T. Toy
Lermonte T. Toy, 21, of La Crosse, was charged May 17 with delivery of heroin, a repeat offender. Police arrested Toy after he sold a criminal informant 4.4 grams of heroin for $600, according to the complaint.
Walter D. Walker
Steven W. Temp
Dennis M. Pakutz
Philip M. Lavenduskey
Lazaro J. Lemagnes
Nicolette A. Noeske
Nicolette A. Noeske, 32, of La Crosse, was charged May 14 with terrorist threats. Police arrested Noeske after she made remarks about getting a gun and shooting doctors in Mayo Clinic Health System’s La Crosse location, according to the police.
Denzell D. Holcomb
Devon P. Yang
Sean A. Ewing
Diontae D. Booth
Michael J. Ryan
Michael J. Ryan, 33, of La Crosse, was charged May 13 with two counts of operating while intoxicated, fifth- or sixth-offense, with a general alcohol concentration enhancer, and operating a motor vehicle while revoked. Police stopped Ryan while he was driving about 35 mph in a 25 mph zone, and arrested him after he failed a field sobriety test and had a preliminary breath test result of 0.110 percent, according to the complaint.
Noah J. Betz
Russell S. Ehlo
Gerard D. Phillips
Theodore R. Sharkey
Danielle S. Krause
Danielle S. Krause, 27, of La Crosse was charged May 9 with felony bail jumping, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia. Krause violated terms of a previous bond prohibiting her from committing new crimes April 26 when police found .5 grams of heroin and drug paraphernalia in her pocket, according to the complaint.
Raeann J. Hammer
Austin Bennet, 31, of La Crosse, was charged May 7 with possession of methamphetamine, felony bail jumping, obstructing an officer and possession of THC, a repeat offender. Police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle Bennet was a passenger in and found out Bennet had warrants, according to the complaint. During the arrest, authorities discovered drugs in his possession, according to the complaint.
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 …