Court: Judge wrongly tossed sex assault case

Madison man charged in 2008

A state appeals court says a judge wrongly dismissed a sexual assault case against a Madison man.

Waupaca County prosecutors in 2008 charged Thomas McEssey with two counts of sexual assault and one count of disorderly conduct.

But according to court records, the case was fraught with sloppy police work. The records state a sheriff’s deputy inadvertently deleted an audio recording of a telephone conversation between the victim and McEssey but found a recording of the victim’s side of the conversation in his garage a week before McEssey’s trial.

Waupaca County Circuit Judge Philip M. Kirk dismissed the charges, saying McEssey couldn’t get a fair trial. But the 4th District Court of Appeals reversed him Thursday, ruling McEssey didn’t show how his rights were violated.

McEssey’s attorney didn’t immediately return a message.