MADISON, Wis. - A Madison man is facing charges after he was accused of attempting to extort money from a man accused in a serious kidnapping and sexual assault case in Monona.
Cory J. Ivy, 31, is facing a felony charge of party to the crime of threats to injury or accuse of a crime. The charge alleges Ivy intended to extort money from the accused kidnapper to make the charges he was facing go away.
According to a criminal complaint filed in May, Ivy had texted Matthew E. Levin after his arrest in March and arranged meetings with a man working for Levin's attorney Michael Short. In text messages and, later, in a meeting, Ivy told Levin and a private investigator that he was close to the alleged kidnapping and assault victim and could make the case go away for $50,000.
Levin is facing felony charges of kidnappings, second-degree sexual assault, strangulation and false imprisonment. He allegedly picked up a woman on Madison's east side on March 19 offered her a ride, then drove her to his auto shop in Monona and sexually assaulted her.
The woman was able to escape at the Shell gas station on East Broadway in Monona. According to the complaint against Levin, he drove the 25-year-old woman to a parking lot near the Menards on Femrite Drive, shoved her into the back of the vehicle, choked her and told her not to scream. He told her he was going to rape her, took off her shirts and started assaulting her, the complaint said. Her clothing was later found inside the auto shop, police said.
Levin has been free on $50,000 cash bond, which he said a family member paid for him.
The complaint said that, during the meeting, Ivy said he knew Levin had money because Levin paid his cash bond. Ivy said that, if Levin paid a $50,000 "relocation fee," Ivy would have the alleged kidnapping victim write a note saying the sexual assault and kidnapping incident was a mistake and she wouldn't show up for court.
Police set up a sting on May 16 and arrested Ivy when he came to a parking lot on Cottage Grove Road to get the money, according to the complaint.
The alleged victim in the kidnapping case and another woman were waiting for Ivy in a van down the street. The women each told police they didn't know about the extortion plan until a few minutes before officers arrived, and each separately claimed the other woman had told her.
Ivy told police that Levin "set us up" and that "he got us good." Ivy claimed that a person he and Levin mutually knew told him to call Levin and gave him Levin's number.
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