RICHLAND CENTER, Wis. - The Richland County man facing four felony counts related to the sexual assault of a child is no stranger to court.
John Elder is accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl, brought to him by his girlfriend, Annette Winger, at least 10 times.
Court records show Elder received a commitment order as a sexually violent person in 2006. Records also show he was released from a secure mental facility in 2013 after a jury found he was “no longer sexually violent.”
Elder was in Richland County court Monday for an initial appearance, where another accuser of his watched from the gallery.
Back in 1996, Elder was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child. His victim was Julie Post.
“It’s been 22 years, but I still remember it pretty clear,” she said. “I was 14 or 15 when he raped me. It was pretty much the same thing – he held me against my will.”
“I remember sitting in the courtroom on the stand, and he was leaning back in his chair smirking at me.”
Post is back in the courtroom, this time as an advocate. She’s hoping to show her support of the 12-year-old in this case, and let it be known she is not alone.
“There is somebody out there who understands what she’s going through,” she said. “I want to be that voice for her.”
Post does not let that day in court two decades ago define her. She is now a mother to four and a military veteran. She wants others to know it is possible to overcome trauma and succeed, despite whatever you have gone through.
“I want others to know that you can survive even the most horrific of traumas.”
Post is also now an advocate for sexual assault survivors. Learn more at her Facebook page.
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