Wilke sentenced to 6 years in stalking incident

Monday, June 1, 2015

Judge issues maximum sentence as defendant faces second such charges

Curtis Wilke, 39, of Emmetsburg, was sentenced to six years incarceration Monday morning in the Clay County Courthouse by Judge Carl J. Peterson regarding charges stemming from a stalking incident, his second such offense.

During the sentencing event, Peterson administered a five-year sentence and $750 fine for felony second-degree stalking and an additional year and $315 fine on a charge of making a false report on an indictable offense to a public entity. Wilke will also be expected to pay victim restitution yet-to-be-determined, court costs, attorney fees, jail fees and surcharges associated with the sentencing.

The existing no-contact order will also remain in place for five years at which time Scott can seek a new such arrangement.

"The two sentences shall not be suspended ... and the two terms will be served consecutively," Peterson told the courtroom.

Multiple charges against Wilke were filed by the Spencer Police Department on Feb. 6 including first-degree harassment, malicious prosecution, false report of an indictable offense to a public entity and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

During Monday's court proceedings, Wilke, Special Prosecutor Travis Johnson and Defense Attorney John Sandy, listened along with Peterson, as the 911 call from Wilke's victim, Trish Scott, was played in the courtroom for consideration prior to sentencing.

In a panicked voice, Scott told the Clay County Emergency dispatcher, "Somebody just broke the window in my bedroom. I've been having problems."

The dispatcher asked if she could see anyone outside her 2200 W. 11th St. apartment?

"I don't want to go to the window, I'm scared. I have my daughter with me. I've been having problems with harassment," Scott responded.

The dispatcher remained on the phone with the crying Scott until law enforcement arrived.

During Johnson's comments he explained that prior to the incident at Scott's residence, a phone later tied to Wilke, was used to place an anonymous phone call to a non-emergency law enforcement number claiming a large fight at the bowling alley involving knives.

Johnson claimed Wilke was "purposely attempting to get police to the other side of town."

Scott also read a victim impact statement in the courtroom for consideration. She claimed to have thought Wilke a friend who she confided in. Scott noted leading up to the window breaking incident, she had been receiving text messages she described as "sexual in nature" from various phone numbers, calling them "explicit and very scary." Then the texts became death threats according to Scott.

The evening prior to the window breaking, Scott alleged receiving texts saying she was being watched through her window and pictures were being taken.

On the night of the event, after a 2-foot bar was thrown through her window, a text followed saying her "head was next" was reportedly sent.

The entirety of the event left her unsettled -- dealing with feelings of fear, distrust of others, as well as a lack of sleep and missed work according to Scott in her statement. She asked the judge to impose jail time for Wilke.

Johnson, on behalf of the state, asked the judge impose the "maximum punishment."

Citing an example of 20 prior convictions including a previous stalking conviction, firearms possession violations and others, Johnson called Wilke an "exceedingly dangerous individual" based on his career of prosecuting a variety of cases, and asked a sentence be imposed to "protect the community."

Sandy, on behalf of the defendant, raised objection to the mention of Wilke's juvenile criminal history in the presentence investigation -- which Johnson agreed should not be taken into consideration -- and he noted two discrepancies in the PSI findings including one dealing with Wilke's driver's license status which Sandy suggested was incorrect as well as a mention of Wilke's premarriage number of children being one when it was actually two.

In his sentencing suggestion, Sandy cited his 30-year career of representing clients, and pointed to many of Wilke's charges being of a less-dangerous nature, noting theft, bad checks and driving while license revoked.

"These are certainly things that don't rise to the level of incarceration," Wilke said. "Any sentence imposed should be concurrent. ... He has successfully completed probation in the past."

Instead, Sandy suggested the judge place Wilke in a residential treatment facility which would allow him to work and pay off his indebtedness. He reminded the court, "If he violates probation in any way, shape or form he would be brought back before the court for incarceration."

When given the opportunity, Wilke chose not to offer any comments on his own behalf.

After issuing his sentence, Peterson explained that he based his decision on Wilke's age; past criminal history, without the juvenile information considered, nature of the offenses; his financial situation; the need to protect the public; a need for rehabilitation and a means to deter similar actions by Wilke or anyone else going forward.

Peterson noted, "The fact he's already on probation at this time, he's not a candidate for probation."

The judge instructed Wilke he had 30 days to file a written appeal of the sentence if he chose to do so.

After indicating he hoped Wilke would use his time of incarceration to take into account what he did to both the community and the victim, Peterson wished him "successful rehabilitation."

Peterson, looking at Scott, added, "I wish to the victim as much wholeness in your life."

Before being taken to the reception center in Oakdale, Wilke will be transferred to the Dickinson County Jail where he will be held according to Johnson.

Wilke is facing additional charges for violation of probation in a similar stalking case in Dickinson County and will be brought before Judge David Larson when a probation revocation court date is set.

Wilke also pled guilty to charges in Dickinson County stemming from an arrest on May 24, 2013. Wilke was sentenced to a year in jail on April 3, 2014, with 345 days suspended. He was placed on probation which was revoked on Feb. 11 following the new charges.

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