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DA's office extends offer to ex-teacher accused of sexually assaulting student after mistrial
Circuit Court

DA's office extends offer to ex-teacher accused of sexually assaulting student after mistrial

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RACINE — The Racine County District Attorney’s Office has extended an offer to the former Washington-Caldwell Elementary School eighth-grade teacher accused of sexually assaulting a former student. However, he needs more time to decide whether or not he will take it.

Justin D. Spiegelhoff, 37, of Burlington, is charged with a felony charge of second-degree assault of a child.

“We don’t have it resolved. There has been an offer made, Mr. Spiegelhoff and I want to discuss that further, but we don’t want to take the trial date off in the event that we can’t resolve it,” Patrick Cafferty, Spiegelhoff’s attorney, said in court Tuesday.

Spiegelhoff was tried in July, but after deliberating for more than six hours, a jury of 12 came back hung and a mistrial was declared. A second trial has been scheduled for April 21-23.

“Negotiations have come to an end,” Assistant District Attorney Brian Van Schyndel said. “If the offer is not taken, we will be ready for trial.”

Spiegelhoff faces a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.

Sexual assault alleged

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged sexual assault reportedly occurred during the 2011-2012 school year at Washington-Caldwell Elementary School, located on Highway 164 in the Tichigan area of the Town of Waterford.

The victim, then 13, testified that she was asked to grab something in the school’s kiln room when Spiegelhoff came up behind her, touched her breasts, played with her bra, kissed her and put his hand down the back of her pants. She also said he took off his shirt to show her his tattoos.

Spiegelhoff reportedly spent extra time with the victim, meeting with her one-on-one. He also allegedly wrote the girl notes, gave her a necklace and called her on her cellphone.

In August 2015, an investigator with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office met with the girl. During that interview the victim alleged that Spiegelhoff touched her inappropriately multiple times while she was one of his students.

During Spiegelhoff’s jury trial, more details surfaced, including phone records that showed 42 phone calls occurring between Spiegelhoff, then 30, and his victim, then 13 or 14, between February and June 2012. The two reportedly spoke more than 10 hours on the phone, with 31 of the phone calls originating from Spiegelhoff.

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Alyssa Mauk covers breaking news and courts. She enjoys spending time with her family, video games, heavy metal music, watching YouTube videos, comic books and movies.

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