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Kenosha County Eye

Salem Man Found Not Guilty Of Serious Sexual Assault Charges – Free After More Than A Year In Jail

Jury Seating In Judge Rossell’s Courtroom
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

A Salem man was aquitted of very serious sexual assault charges last Thursday after a two and a half day jury trial. Tyler J. Tess, 39, of Salem, was released from the Kenosha County Jail at 2:47 pm Thursday – just over an hour after jurors set him free. Tess had been in custody holding on a $100,000 cash bail since August 25, 2022. One juror said that she felt joy sending the man home from jail. Tess was originally charged with eight serious sex-related felonies on August 26, 2022. He was facing 207 years in the Wisconsin prison system.

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The prosecutor decided to only go to trial on the two most serious charges last Monday. With the two charges remaining, Tess still faced 80 years in prison for allegations of sexual assault that prosecutors say occurred in the summer of 2022.

Lining the front of the courthouse Monday morning was a large group of bikers volunteering for the “Guardians of the Children.” The mission of Guardians of the Children is to recognize and react to child abuse and educate the public to do the same; to serve as advocates to provide strength and stability to families in crisis; and be an answer to the prayer of an abused child or teen for courage, support, and protection.  A few members sat on either side of the complaining witness throughout the trial. A juror told KCE that the group was a “little intimidating the first day,” because there were many of them in the courtroom Monday.

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The criminal complaint, obtained by KCE, showed an up-hill case for prosecutors. The alleged victim in this case was known to fabricate stories about others for attention and revenge. There were more exculpatory details in the court document.

KCE spoke to two jurors about their opinions on the case. The jurors, both women, told KCE the same story – this case should not have been prosecuted at all and was a weak case. They said the credibility issues from the alleged victim were overpowering. “Three different witnesses took the stand and told us the victim lied habitually.”

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Defense Attorney John Ward
(Attorney’s Website)

When asked about the attorneys’ performance during trial, one juror gave defense attorney John Ward a C+, saying he didn’t seem like he was in his wheelhouse, but did the best he could. She gave the Kenosha County DA’s office an F, saying that the case was so thin, that she didn’t believe the charges should have been filed at all. She also said that the prosecutor was trying to lead witnesses to say what she wanted, as opposed to the truth.

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Jason Rossell
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

At one time during the trial, a Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputy got the attention of the presiding judge, Jason Rossell. He told the judge that the alleged victim and one of her relatives seemed to be directing a witness on how to answer questions during testimony. Rossell removed the two from the courtroom for the rest of the witness’ testimony. The jury was confused about coming back into the courtroom and seeing the two were gone. Once I told them why, they weren’t surprised.

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“Then, during the closing arguments, the prosecutor was mischaracterizing the evidence. The prosecutor wanted us to believe what she was telling us and not our ‘lying ears,’ “ a woman juror told KCE Tuesday. “I know [closing arguments] are not evidence, but it wasn’t right.”

Finally, when asked what the prosecution could do better, the juror’s reply was simple, – “make sure your case is solid before coming to trial,” she said.

Attempts to reach Tess were unsuccessful. KCE would like to speak with Mr. Tess.

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Krejcarek
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

The Kenosha County DA’s office did win some trials last week. ADA Jessica Krejcarek won a guilty verdict in the sexual assault case of State v. Raphael Reyes Reyes. This wasn’t an easy case for prosecutors, as there was no confession or DNA evidence.

ADA Emily Gaertner and DDA Carli McNeil
(File Photos by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

DDA Carli McNeil and ADA Emily Gaertner secured a murder conviction in the State v. Joey Miracle.


  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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13 Responses

  1. Our DAs office will charge in weak cases wasted taxpayer money is all I see. Elections have consequences.

  2. …and the repercussions for the false acv that ruined this man’s life are??? NOTHING. My girlfriend’s daughter has been a habitual liar long before I knew either of them. I met her when she was 9. She would feign being sick to miss skool. She did this so often I told her mom there is something or someone at skool that she doesn’t want to be around OR there is something at home she wants to do that she can’t do in skool. It turned out she was chatting online with two college guys in different parts of the country, misrepresenting herself as a college student. Now the girl is almost 16 and for the last 3 years I have a standing rule that I will not be around the girl alone EVER. If mom has to run to run errands, either she takes the girl or I leave with mom. She is the exact type of girl that would launch false accusations if she was angry. BEWARE MEN. Protect yourselves at all times. The court system is set up to prosecute men. The court system heavily favors females in most aspects, especially when it comes to sexual assault. Witness the almost daily news of some young female teacher getting involved with male underage students. They get light sentences compared to males and they don’t get persecuted by the public in the same way that males do. Protect yourselves at all times.

    1. This happened to my brother. He hooked up with a college girl that had a boyfriend. Her girlfriends told her boyfriend what she was doing. To get herself out of trouble with her boyfriend, she lied and said my brother gave her drugs and didn’t remember anything. She even left a note in the morning thanking my brother for the good time and if he finds her earrings to call her. The boyfriend made her go to the police and they assigned two lesbian detectives. My brother was charged and lost his job as an attorney, lost his house and spent 9 months in jail. He later killed himself because his life was ruined. All because a stupid slut didn’t want her boyfriend mad at her. Sadly, this happens all to often and the courts are completely against men when it comes to men vs. woman.

  3. And how do we change this !!
    if it was up to the DA and all involved, he would have went to prison for 90 years
    all them people in that da office should do a little self check …

  4. You would think Twin Lakes was on the case. Or another jail house recording. Or another drug user with a long history of illegal activity as the star witness for the state. Nope. Just more of the same. He’s white, he’s dangerous, he must be locked up. Jewdicial system 101.

  5. An acquittal does not necessarily mean it didn’t happen but rather the jury didn’t feel there was enough evidence to convict.

  6. The DA office bows down to its victim witness office on many cases. The DA investigator was never a cop and is in bed with the victim witness head. Charges get added in hopes of a plea bargain. The cops can arrest for A, B and C, while the VW offices begs for the rest of the alphabet in hopes of impressing the DA and getting a plea.

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