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Kenosha Police Officer Fired, Charged With Sexual Assault Against Intoxicated Detainee -All Caught on Body-Camera

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Former Kenosha Police Officer Joshua Sylvester (27)
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Twenty-seven year old Joshua Sylvester began his law-enforcement career with the Kenosha Police Department on August 2, 2021. He was married in 2019 and recently had a child. A little more than a year after being sworn in, he is now behind bars and facing 43.5 years in the Wisconsin Prison System. Sylvester was charged today by the Kenosha DA’s office with “second degree sexual assault by law enforcement officer” and “misconduct in public office/excess authority.”  The investigation is being handled primarily by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department to avoid a conflict of interest. Kenosha DA Michael Graveley tells KCE he will know soon if he can handle this case, or if he needs to toss it to another County.

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Allegations

According to the 8-page criminal complaint, Sylvester is accused of some very serious actions. The below allegations are graphic in nature and intended to be read by adults:

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Former Kenosha Police Officer Joshua Sylvester was at Aurora Hospital on August 18, 2022 monitoring an intoxicated 24-year-old woman who he arrested for OWI after crashing into a tree and losing consciousness. KCE is not naming the victim. Sylvester inserted his fingers into the victim’s vagina several times while at the hospital. He also pulled out his penis and asked her to touch it. She refused but he forced her to. He added his cell phone number to hers as “Officer Josh” and sent himself nude photos of the woman from the woman’s phone. A Kenosha County Sheriff’s Detective viewed body camera footage, some of which had to be recovered by I.T. staff due to Sylvester turning off the camera, and the footage supported all of the victim’s allegations. Sylvester even tried to cover the body-camera with his hand, but he was still seen sexually assaulting the victim. Sylvester later took the victim to the jail, but before they got into the squad car, he asked her not to “have a conversation about any of that in the car” because the squad cars have microphones and cameras. The victim didn’t initially want to tell her story but her friend and her Dad told her to go to the Kenosha Police Department. They met with Kenosha Lt. Joseph Nosalik, the commander of the Internal Affairs unit. Last night, August 22, 2022, Kenosha Sheriff’s detectives executed a search warrant at Sylvester’s home and he immediately knew why there were there. His wife told police that Sylvester washed his uniform once to remove blood, but police found no uniform in the home. Sylvester waived his fifth amendment rights and made unreasonable excuses. When asked why he had vaginal secretions on his hands, he said it was because he “stopped her from masturbating.” He also said he held her hand to pray. He denied sending the nude photos to himself.

Initial Court Appearance

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Former Kenosha Police Officer Joshua Sylvester (27)
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Sylvester made his first appearance in court today with his attorney Timothy Baldwin out of Milwaukee. He looked down for most of the court hearing and seemed embarrassed. Attorney Baldwin asked for a $5,000 cash bond. He said that his client is married with a new-born and his status as a police officer should be taken into consideration. He was worried that Sylvester would be in danger remaining in jail.

Kenosha Prosecutor T. Clair Binger
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

In court today for the DA’s office was Prosecutor T. Clair Binger, donning a millennium Falcon lapel pin. Binger requested a $25,000 cash bond. He also asked that Sylvester have no contact with the victim and witnesses. He stated that the allegations were supported by body-camera footage. “This is behavior that is extremely alarming. Citizens are demanding that Police Officers protect them from the public…. This is someone that was vulnerable, and under the control of law enforcement and intoxicated.” He also mentioned that the maximum sentence is 40 years in prison for the sexual assault charge.

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Kenosha Circuit Court Commissioner Loren Keating
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha Circuit Court Commissioner Loren Keating stated that the allegations represent “nothing short of an egregious breach in the public trust.” Keating set Sylvester’s cash bail at $15,000.

Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larsen
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha Police had the following to say today:

“Today, Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larsen announced that the Department has fired
Joshua Sylvester, a 27-year-old probationary police officer who has been with the
Kenosha Police Department just over 12 months. Sylvester was fired for violating the
Kenosha Police Department’s policies and procedures.

Acting on a citizen complaint received last week, Kenosha Police conducted an internal
investigation into allegations that Sylvester committed criminal offenses while he was
on duty. The results of that investigation were promptly turned over to the Kenosha
County Sheriff’s Department with Chief Larsen’s request to conduct a criminal
investigation.

The Kenosha Police Department is fully cooperating with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s
Department, who is leading the investigation”

KPPA (Kenosha Professional Police Association) President Pete Deates

KCE Spoke with the Kenosha Police Union President Pete Deates, who is a detective with the department’s sensitive crimes unit. This author has had many interactions with Deates as Alderman. He has a reputation for transparency and has little tolerance for misconduct among his members. His job with the department is among the toughest in the detective bureau and deals with sexual assaults of adults and children. Deates had the following to say:

“I have been made aware of an allegation against one of our officers. The KPPA encourages the department to utilize any and all resources when a citizen makes a complaint against one of our officers to prove or disprove the allegation. If an officer violates the trust of the citizens we serve, it makes the job of all our good officers more difficult. If what is being alleged occurred, we don’t want an officer like that on our department.”

Sylvester is due back in court on September 1, 2022 for his preliminary hearing.

Click here to read the criminal complaint.

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Chief Eric Larsen and Officer Joshua Sylvester
Booking Photo Racine County Sheriff
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22 Responses

  1. I suppose it is a good thing that this guy was not very bright. The most dangerous police officers are both stupid and narcissistic. Had he not been caught so early in his career, imagine how much more harm he could have caused.

  2. 8:23 pm on Tuesday and the action is already starting at my new
    neighbors house already. Ill keep you updated as the night goes on.
    Too bad I cant trust local law enforcement.
    Not sure why my original post was deleated……but Im not going anywhere and will continue to post.
    Talk to you soon!

  3. Wow, That’s what KPD gets for bending to the woke crowd. They want to appeal to people that throw bricks at them? Makes no sense. I don’t use anymore “Thin Blue Line” support stuff anymore. They’d rather look “woke” than to even say Thank You to the people that stood up for them in 2020 when so many others came against them. Forget about it

    1. You really are though. And a coward too because you would never do this pathetic crap in public. Must suck to have be a closeted monster. Poor little man.

  4. I’m glad he has been caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If only they could do the same to all the pieces of shit in higher government, specifically one being Steinbrink Jr. He should be thrown in prison and made to pay back the millions of dollars he has stolen from the tax payers.

    1. You’ve made this comment many times but have failed to spell out how Steinbrink (sr. or jr.) actually “stole … millions of dollars.” True, stealing is stealing and jr. shouldn’t get off scot free but so far the actual amount seems a lot less. Put up or STFU.

      1. When I see it with my own eyes and had us doing shady side work for him is that not proof enough for me to make these comments? You’re one of the many fucken idiots that believes what they are told by this family. You must benefit in some way or form from this narcissistic pig! I suggest you try shutting the fuck up for once!

  5. Remind me why the mayor wanted to raise taxes to give the cops more money? Maybe they’d have more money if they could just not keep having scandals like these. Kyle Baars and his evidence tampering, Kendal West beating the unholy hell out of an ER doc, Pablo Torres and his trigger happy attitude, and I’m sure there’s others I am forgetting right now. How much money is wasted on bad apples? Kenosha has some very good officers, but when scum gets a badge and uniform, they make everyone else look bad by association.

  6. I want to give a shout out to KPD and KPPA here. The statements they made were clear and to the point. The chief said he “fired” the officer — no BS language there. And the union isn’t circling the wagons around this moron. Kudos.

    1. I hate to be a kill joy, but they did what should be expected of them. God! The assault was captured on this monster’s body cam.

      What if that did not happen? What if it was her word against his? Would the outcome be different? The Kenosha police have a long history of covering up the crimes and misconduct of its officers. Maybe that institutional culture made this officer think he could get away with it. But damn, the body cam, which he thought he turned off, was still recording.

    2. I hate to be a kill joy, but they did what should be expected of them. God! The assault was captured on this monster’s body cam.

      What if that did not happen? What if it was her word against his? Would the outcome be different? The Kenosha police have a long history of covering up the crimes and misconduct of its officers. Maybe that institutional culture made this officer think he could get away with it. But damn, the body cam, which he thought he turned off, was still recording.

  7. I am just wondering why a male cop was allowed with a vulnerable female in her hospital room without a witness of any kind. When a doctor sees a patient and does any kind of procedure that requires a disrobing, they always have a nurse or medical assistant with them. If nurses were in and out like a typical ER, they should have kept the door open. I feel that the KPD needs a new policy like what doctors adhere to in respect to opposite sex, or vulnerable people or children. This kind of policy would safeguard both the police officer from lawsuits, but would also protect potential victims from psychopaths like this man. Thank God for his camera, but it didn’t stop the assault. Aren’t officers put through some kind of psychological profiling during their training to make sure they aren’t liars, psychopaths, pedophiles, or rapists?

    1. It’s probably sexist to imply that you need to have a female officer guarding a female drunk. What if one of them doesn’t identify as female? Or drunk?

  8. The criminal complaint states that the victims birthdate is 1998, but you’re reporting she is 34 years old. That math doesn’t add up.

  9. I would really like to know what process Mr. Keating uses to determine bond for sexual assault crimes because it seems he just picks numbers off the top of his head. Some people get $75,000, some people get $15,000 , and others like Curtis Tolefree get a signature bond. There is clearly a disparity in how he handles similar cases. He needs to be removed.

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