Fitchburg man charged with forcible sex assault, strangulation, - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fitchburg man charged with forcible sex assault, strangulation, involving 15-year old girl

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A Fitchburg man was charged with forcible, child sex assault, strangulation and other felony crimes, as authorities also say he photographed a local high school girl he met through social media having sex with strangers.

A court commissioner set 47-year old John Gilbert's bail at $75,000 Wednesday.  The amount meted out by commissioner Jason Hanson was a reduction of Gilbert's previous, $100,000 bail.  Hanson made the change after Gilbert's attorney argued the significant difference between Gilbert's bail, and the $25,000 bail of Gilbert's alleged accomplice in the forced, child sex, was too drastic.

Criminal documents state the fifteen year old girl met Gilbert earlier this year on a social media site, and the two had nearly a half dozen rendezvous of sexual activity.

A search warrant affidavit states Gilbert would blind fold the girl and take her to his Fitchburg home on Smithfield Circle.

"(The girl) stated that the defendant would take photos of his friends having intercourse with her,"  according to the criminal complaint against Gilbert.

The complaint states Gilbert and another man, 39-year old Brian Holmes of Madison, took the teen to a room at a Super 8 motel in Madison March 14, and forced her to perform several, sexual acts with both men.  The complaint states the girl was hit if she did not perform to the men's satisfaction.

At one point, authorities say as the girl was performing a sex act on Holmes, "...Gilbert kept hitting her and telling her 'to keep going or it was going to get worse.' "

Criminal documents state the girl was strangled by Gilbert during a sex act for as much as thirty seconds at time, releasing his grip before she lost consciousness.

During Wednesday's court hearing, Holmes' attorney Mark Eisenberg argued Holmes came to the girl's aid.

"The complaining witness said that Mr. Holmes was trying to stop the violence,"  Eisenberg said.

The affidavit states Gilbert was unsuccessfully attempting one sexual act with the teen and Holmes told him to stop, remarking the child was "too tense."

"You're lucky he's here,"  the affidavit states Gilbert told the girl.

Gilbert's attorney, Stephen Meyer says Gilbert has no criminal record.  A local magazine article described Gilbert as a laid back entrepreneur and stay-at-home-dad.

If convicted of only the charge of first degree sexual assault of a child under age 16 by use or threat of force or violence, both Gilbert and Holmes would face a minimum, twenty five year prison sentence.


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