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Prominent Kenosha Man Charged With Rape, Stalking

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Josh Covelli (43) of Kenosha
(Courtroom Photo By Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
(Mugshot, Kenosha County Sheriff)

A prominent Kenosha man is facing more than 80 years behind bars after being charged with multiple felony counts Monday. Joshua S. Covelli was charged with two counts of forcible rape and one count of stalking on Monday.

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According to the criminal complaint:

Since Covelli moved out of his wife’s home, she reported that Covelli constantly messaged her on her cell phone. During these messages, she learned that during the course of their relationship, Covelli had taken nude photographs of her without her consent. Covelli told her that he had taken hundreds of these photographs and threatened to send them to people she knew. As proof, he sent her one of these nude photographs on August 19, 2023, at 7:30PM. She advised that she did not give Covelli permission to take these photographs or distribute them.

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Covelli also sent his soon-to-be ex-wife messages that suggested he was in close proximity to her and watching her. “I will be retaliating now. But it won’t be with someone else like your ass. It will be with spreading every ounce of all this to as many people as I can. You’re better off unblocking me and talking if you really think these emails are going to work for you. I don’t believe a word [you] say. And now I have all the proof I need.”

Covelli and his wife reportedly started their relationship while she was still married to the father of her children. According to the victim, Covelli also threatened her ex-husband. Covelli also believes that she had another boyfriend and was cheating on Covelli.

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The victim also reported that prior to Covelli moving out he sexually assaulted her. She advised this occurred on the evening of June 25, 2023, after she had ingested marijuana at their residence. She stated she passed out after smoking the marijuana and woke up to Covelli on top of her and sexually assaulting her. She told Covelli to stop and started to scream. He kept going and, at one point, pushed her head into a pillow. She said that he did this twice on the same night and she did not consent to sexual intercourse.

The victim also advised a Kenosha Police Detective that Covelli has caused her fear and that, based on his actions, she is worried the Defendant will kill her.

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Kenosha County Sexual Assault Prosecutor Alexandria Smathers
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Although temporary bail in the amount of $10,000 was already set, Kenosha County Sexual Assault Prosecutor Alexandria Smathers asked for a higher $50,000 bail, citing the seriousness of the crimes and the total prison exposure.

Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner William Michel II
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner William Michel II, however, kept the bail at $10,000 cash. Michel had previously denied a restraining order request for the victim against Covelli in this case, citing not meeting the burden of proof. Covelli was booked into the Kenosha County Jail on only the stalking charge on September 15, 2023. Prosecutors then added the two rape charges.

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He is next due in court on October 4, 2023, for a preliminary hearing.

Covelli’s LinedIn

According to Covelli’s LinkedIn account, he lists many prominent positions of influence in the community. He was previously the director of marketing for the Village of Pleasant Prairie. We spoke to Covelli’s reported current employer, 1HOPE, and the president of the board, Ray Knight told KCE that Covelli is no longer employed with his organization. He said he asked Covelli to remove 1Hope as his employer on the social media site.

KCE has been able to confirm that Covelli is no longer involved with any of the organizations listed with the exception of the Kenosha Literacy Council and Lakeside Curative Services. The Shalom Center executive director Tamarra Coleman seemed to suggest the Covelli was never on a committee for the organization. Local Realtor and president of the chamber of commerce, Wendy Gauss seemed angry and told KCE “I have no further comments for you.”

Covelli (left), Shalom Center Executive Director Tamarra Coleman (right)
(Facebook)

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34 Responses

  1. Oh wow… they’ve only been married about a year. They have a pack of kids between the 2 of them. She just had some interesting accusations online with business woman in Racine. I think she’s a teacher as well. Shocked that KPD took this seriously, they rarely do. They don’t take anything seriously until a woman dies. Can’t believe they didn’t grant the TRO

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    1. They took it seriously because I have a hard evidence of it via text messages from him. How about instead of victim shaming you stay the out of it until you have the information.

      1. Where in that statement was there any implication of victim shaming. I am simply staying a fact that KPD rarely does anything. Which is a reflection on KPD and the courts. But okay Jackie. Also shocked they didn’t grant the TRO. Takes very little to get a TRO.

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      2. If you started screwing this guy when you were still married then I guess you really aren’t a peach either….are you?

        Also you waited 3 months to report he supposedly sexually assaulted you?

        As usual in these types of cases….there are 3 stories, the husband’s side, the wife’s side, and then the actual truth.

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          1. You guys are doing a disservice to the alleged victim here. MANY people, including myself, personally saw the alleged victim at “Pints and Politics” playing kissy-face with Covelli before the divorce was filed. By lying in the comments, your credibility on other things you say comes into question. Comment further at your own (and her) peril

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      3. Should a counselor, a person in a trusted field working with and helping others, be openly committing crimes and still have a license to practice? Marijuana is still illegal in Wisconsin, why is one crime ok and another not?

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  2. A few months ago, they ripped off a prominent Racine businesswoman by selling her a washer and dryer (that they had rigged to barely work) on Facebook marketplace. They told her us was newer than it was, and really fibbed on its condition. This was shortly after the businesswoman lost her innocent husband to senseless gun violence when he was trying to break up a fight outside of his establishment.

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  3. Wow how easy it is to hide behind an anonymous name. Let’s say there are three sides of every story, guess which one is it listed, yours. How dare you try to make a victim feel guilty. If you are a woman, but you knows if you are because you’re choosing to stay anonymous you’re setting back the women race by about 100 years. Why don’t you go back to that decade and forget how to use technology. I can’t believe there are such a hateful, bitter scorn, vindictive and pathetic people like you commenting on someone else’s story. And to top it off basically saying she was married in the first place. You’re lame, and don’t know anything. I suggest, unless you have an educated opinion, to not comment.

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  4. Hey should she be smoking weeedz and gettin off on a free pass? Were the kids home? Who is watching them? This sounds messed up

    1. Do you apply this same logic to all the parents out there drinking beers around their children? Much more intoxicating and deadly. There wouldn’t be enough babysitters in the state to cover all the alcoholics in Kenosha.

  5. KCE, I strongly encourage you to look into this woman’s past. While I believe Josh is a despicable guy, she has a loving history of playing the victim. She tried to make her ex husband a villain (tune has changed now) and even accused one of his friends of sexual assault after they were caught messing around.

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  6. She lied to her previous husband.
    She lied probably to many.
    She obviously lied to her current of it husband.
    Why should her name be published.
    I thought we have a right to face the accuser.
    We all know minimalating women.
    I’m a woman and I know many of them.

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    1. She sure did. If he is guilty throw the book at him. But if she has made any of this up and goes through with putting him behind bars, she will have to answer to God about that. This is NOT her first rodeo.

  7. Imagine having an opinion on something you know nothing about. He wouldn’t have such serious charges if there wasn’t evidence. So easy to judge someone when you hide behind a keyboard. I STAND WITH HER.

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  8. Unbelievable…..some of you have no idea what women of rape, sexual assault and or abuse go through. Your ignorant comments are one of the reasons why women don’t report things like this. Until you are put in a situation like this you should keep your comments to yourself. Maybe think about what you are saying and I promise you that if this ever happens to you, you are going to hate yourself for your nasty and down right mean comments that you have made. Shame on all of you who make comments that you know nothing about!!

  9. I have taken a lot of time considering if I would make a statement here. This last year has been incredibly stressful and damaging in many ways.
    My children’s father and I, honestly, had a pretty good relationship when we were married. We hardly fought and were living life fine. We lacked the emotional connection. We had discussed divorce many times and talked about once I graduated that we would revisit that idea. When it came time to file we were challenged with the adoption of our daughter. It was wait to file and adopt together or only one of us could adopt. Things got messy, as divorce usually does. He accused me of things as I did him. I began seeing Josh before I filed for divorce. That isn’t a lie and not that it’s anyone’s business but there was more to it that what it seems like from the outside looking in.
    The “friend” I am accused of messing around with and accusing “rape” was Terry Mezula, who admitted to his assault to me and to my ex. He has also done this to other women I know as well. We never “messed around”. And to be clear, he didn’t rape me. He attempted to and asked me to keep it a secret.
    I don’t do drugs, in fact I’ve never done one in my life. I smoked weed when I was a teen 2x and once with my children’s father over a decade ago. I don’t react well to it and had no intention of ever doing it again. Josh is extremely jealous and controlling. I loved him and wanted to please him. “You are not going to do something with another man and not do it with me” I heard on a regular basis about marijuana. I tried it twice with him, having the same reaction; sick, spinning, etc. Questioning my professional competence because I smoked weed 4 times in 15 years is ridiculous. I don’t do it, but I do vote for it because I know it does help many people when used medicinally.
    Josh is an enormous gaslighter and manipulator. He accused every man in my life as being a creep from my friend’s husbands to my own male family members. I was not allowed to use public restrooms without him escorting me or make eye contact with men in public without extreme repercussions. He accuses me of cheating every time we get into an argument. I have never cheated on him. He quit his job at rec plex to watch me from home, as I work from home doing Telehealth services. He refused to get a job that wasn’t remote to know my every move every day. He has had these same behaviours in every relationship he has ever had. He has said the same things to me and used the same tactics to gain control over me as he did in his past relationships as well.
    I stayed in this relationship because I truly loved him and wanted to make him happy. If you don’t understand the cycle of abuse I don’t expect you to understand. I have never used weed with my children home either. It’s very easy to peek into the window of someone’s life and make a judgment call based on that. Having the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life published for the entire public has been humiliating, to say the least. I am not, and don’t claim to be, a perfect person but I certainly don’t deserve to be blamed for his actions.

    1. You shouldn’t have to defend yourself because of the actions of someone else. What a world we live in where someone commits assault and the victim/survivor has to be the one under the spotlight and scrutiny of others. Your voice is heard and your feelings are valid. You deserve justice and he deserves jail.

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