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.
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.
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.
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 under the influence at their residence. She stated she passed out 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.
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, 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.
He is next due in court on October 4, 2023, for a preliminary hearing.
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.”
***Edited on 9-27-2023 at 1:40 pm CST. I have made the difficult decision to remove and prohibit further comments on this post. Some of the posts were perhaps damaging to the alleged victim and some were perhaps damaging to the defendant. I also removed some of the more sensitive details. There is a lot that went in to this decision. Thank you. KM***