For the first time, a Platteville man opens up about being victimized by his parole officer.
News3 first reported on the 67 charges Sherry Buswell faces Wednesday. The now-retired Grant County parole officer is accused of stealing money from 21 people she supervised from 2011-2012.
A criminal complaint says the offenders used money orders to pay supervision and court fees made out to the Department of Corrections. Buswell is accused of stealing more than $4,000 in money orders and depositing them into her personal bank account.
“It shocked me more than anything that this happened,” said Joshua Reuter, who said Buswell had been his probation officer for a year. The 25-year-old was sentenced to parole in 2011 for getting into a fight.
He says he owed $8,600 in restitution and was on track to pay it off by the time his sentence expired last month. Except, his probation was extended another two years, in part to pay back the money he says Buswell stole.
According to the complaint, Buswell took $600 from Reuter, but he claims she took more and has receipts to prove it.
“She had to be someone that people looked up to because she seemed like the person who wouldn’t steer you wrong or do you wrong,” said Reuter.
The complaint says Buswell’s coworker first noticed inconsistencies in her cases. She was put on administrative leave in April 2012 and retired in January 2013.
Reuter is fighting his extended probation and says it’s unfair. He says he doesn't trust other parole officers and is taking steps to prevent being a victim again.
“I’m taking the extra steps so that way there is a complete paper trail and folder of stuff,” said Reuter. “It can’t happen to me again because if it does, I’m ready for it.”
Buswell is due in a Grant County courtroom Monday. But a new judge may be assigned due to a conflict of interest and that could postpone her first appearance.
The Richland County District Attorney is prosecuting the case and wouldn’t speculate on Buswell’s motive.