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St. Joe sexploitation case is continued

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crime and courts River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Separate preliminary hearings for two Hudson teens charged with felony sexploitation and sex assault for allegedly using a cell phone to video record a sexual encounter with an inebriated girl last fall bogged down Tuesday.

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Daniel Edward Karlovich, 17, was scheduled first at 8:30 a.m. followed by Brandon W. Brown, 17, at 10 a.m. but the plans hit a snag.

Karlovich's hearing didn't get underway until about 9 a.m. and was still going at 11 a.m. when his attorney, Aaron Nelson, called for a break.

At that point Judge Scott Needham rescheduled Brown's preliminary for 8 a.m. Aug. 22.

Karlovich's proceedings continued after lunch. At about 1:30 p.m. the court decided to make an oral decision on probable cause and continue the hearing to Aug. 22 at 4 p.m., court records said.

Karlovich and Brown were charged in connection with an incident that occurred Sept. 25 at an underage drinking party in the town of St. Joseph.

The criminal complaint alleged Brown and Karlovich attended the party and were involved in taking cell phone photos of sexually explicit conduct involving a 17-year-old girl and another young male, and having sexual contact with her while she was intoxicated.

The victim told an investigator she attended the party at a home on County V with other juveniles where she drank vodka, smoked marijuana and became extremely intoxicated.

According to the criminal complaint she became naked and was fondled by a young male who had sex with her. A cell phone video recorded some of the incident.

Nelson had filed motions to dismiss Karlovich's case due to flaws in the criminal complaint and argued the case should be under juvenile jurisdiction. Karlovich was 16 at the time of the incident.

The court denied the motion based on the criminal complaint and reserved judgment on the juvenile jurisdiction.

ADA Frank Collins called three witnesses for the state, Josh Halverson, the dean of students at Hudson High School, who heard of the incident from students, and Investigators Brandie Hart and Shawn Demulling from the sheriff's department.

Halvorson said he and associated principal Wendy Langer interviewed several students involved. They confiscated Brown and Karlovich's cell phones and handed them over to police.

Halverson said during his interview with Brown, the teenager said shooting the video was an accident. "He said he used the light from the phone to help get the girl dressed and the video was recorded by accident," Halvorson said.

Hart testified she watched the four and one-half minute video from Brown's camera and it showed a naked girl and a male fondling her who were recognizable.

During an interview with the investigator, Karlovich said he used the light from his cell phone to help find the girl's clothing and help her get dressed. The video was blank on his phone, Hart said.

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Jon Echternacht
(715) 808-8602
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