Details regarding alleged sexual assault heard at preliminary hearing

By Gary Scott on January 22, 2019 at 12:46pm

Harrowing details regarding an alleged incident of criminal sexual assault of a family member were recounted in court this morning during a scheduled preliminary hearing.

Forty-six year old Joseph Wisniewski appeared in Morgan County court this morning along with his Defense Attorney Monroe McWard for a scheduled preliminary hearing. Wisniewski is on trial for alleged criminal sexual assault of a family member under the age of 18 years old and unlawful possession of child pornography.

During the preliminary hearing today, Morgan County Assistant State’s Attorney Chad Turner called Jacksonville Police Detective Jason Bryant to the stand. While on the stand, Bryant testified to the allegations against Wisniewski that stemmed from reports that initially came in on October 31st of 2018. Those reports were of a complaint in which a family member of Wisniewski, referred to by the court as “A.W.,” allegedly claimed to have been raped by Wisniewski. This was reportedly said as she entered onto a school bus. Bryant said that the victim was eventually taken to the Jacksonville Police Department and subsequently underwent a CAC interview by someone trained to interview children.

During the initial CAC interview, the victim stated that, on the night of October 30th, she had woken up to Joseph Wisniewski having sexual intercourse with her, and stated that she was raped. According to Bryant, however, the victim later recanted her initial statement to school officials, and in a second CAC interview, stated that there was sexual intercourse between herself and Joseph Wisniewski, though she did not consider it rape. Bryant said that the victim, in her second interview, indicated that there had been instances in which herself and the defendant had made various negotiations, or deals, in which she would receive material items, such as cell phones, or getting her nails done, in exchange for sex. This is believed to have occurred on approximately 10 different occasions.

Detective Bryant also stated the Jacksonville Police interrogated Joseph Wisniewski at the scene near their residence. According to Bryant, Jacksonville Police later seized three cell phones, one of which belonged to the victim, and the other two which belonged to Joseph Wisniewski. On one of those cell phones, Bryant says police found approximately 20 or more pornographic images of the victim and audio recordings between the victim and Joseph Wisniewski. On those audio recordings, Bryant says some of them contain accusations of rape by the victim, and on others, the victim and Joseph Wisniewski can be heard discussing the aforementioned negotiations of exchanging material items for sex.

In his cross-examination of Bryant, Attorney McWard asked if the conversations heard in the audio recordings appeared to be serious conversations. Bryant told the court that the conversations did appear to be of a serious nature, and reflect factual exchanges, which were later corroborated by the victim.

As for Wisniewski’s next court date, Judge Chris Reif has set an arraignment date and possible plea date for February 5th at 9 a.m.