A La Crosse man was jailed Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, and will be sentenced this December in connection with felony child sex abuse charges, after a two-day jury trial in Barron County Circuit Court.
Court records said Joseph M. Marks, 33, 826 Hagar St., La Crosse, was convicted by a 12-member jury on counts of first-degree child sex assault involving a victim age 13-under, and indecent exposure. He could face up to 66 years in prison at sentencing, according to court documents.
The two-day trial resulted in about three hours of deliberation by the jury on Oct. 4, court records said. During the deliberation, the jury asked the court two questions about reviewing 12 exhibits that had been introduced by the prosecution during the previous two days. The court allowed six of the exhibits to be reviewed by the jury, but, after hearing defense arguments regarding case law, ruled against allowing the jury to see six other exhibits.
The jury returned its verdicts early Friday afternoon, court records said.
According to a complaint filed April 20, 2018, two witnesses contacted the Cumberland Police Department during March 2018, alleging that the victim had told her stepmother that the defendant had exposed himself to her while she was staying at her mother’s home.
The child said that she had not informed her mother because the defendant “told her to keep it a secret.”
Cumberland police notified the Barron County Department of Health & Human Services about the case. Cumberland police were later contacted by a pre-kindergarten teacher at Cumberland Elementary School. The teacher said the child told her essentially the same information that she (the girl) had told her stepmother.
Health and Human Services personnel interviewed the girl March 22. During the conversation, the girl described two alleged incidents involving the defendant, the complaint said.