A fired Kenosha Police Officer who is facing four decades behind bars if convicted for alleged sexual assault, seemed to detail his defenses to allegations of sexual assault in recently filed court documents.
According to the 8-page criminal complaint, the now-fired police officer, 28-year-old Joshua Sylvester, is accused of some very serious crimes. The below allegations are graphic in nature and intended to be read by adults:
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. 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. 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 then-commander of the Internal Affairs unit. On 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.
Sylvester’s legal team is comprised of seasoned criminal defense attorney Timothy Baldwin and another lawyer in his firm who’s been an attorney for about a year and a half – Erica Young. Young filed a series of legal documents that seem to give us a glimpse into the disgraced former officer’s defense.
- This case is a he said/she said case.
- Complaining witness (victim) engaged in erotic and flirtatious behavior by rubbing and exposing her breast and vaginal area while she was in custody.
- Sylvester was an inexperienced officer, and still on probation.
- Complaining witness’s lack of memory and shadowy inserted false memories
- Police didn’t perform a thorough enough investigation.
- Police didn’t seize the complaining witness (victim)’ ‘s phone for evidence.
In Attorney Young’s motions, she is also requesting to do something that isn’t done in this state for criminal cases barring exigent circumstances – depositions. Young wants to depose, or question under oath before trial, the complaining witness (victim), police officers, and other witnesses. Attorney Young cites the 6th Amendment (Right of Confrontation) as the basis for her request for depositions.
We asked criminal defense attorney and author Michael D. Cicchini to opine on some of the defenses and other motions that were filed.
“Depositions are quite rare in Wisconsin criminal law. One requirement is to show that a particular witness will be unavailable for trial. Without such a showing, I can’t see any Kenosha judge granting a defense lawyer’s request for a deposition,” Cicchini told KCE Wednesday. “The right of confrontation is a trial right. I’m not aware of any right of confrontation in pretrial discovery. I’ve never heard of the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation being applied in such a context.”
“I don’t see how [the complaining witness’s sexual behavior] or [Sylvester’s inexperience as a police officer] could be defenses to the charged crime of Sexual Assault by a Law Enforcement Officer. The complaining witness’s lack of memory or misremembering (false memory) is certainly a defense, as it goes to whether the incident actually happened. The failure to properly investigate the case is a recognized defense. It is sometimes called the investigative ‘omission defense.’ I don’t know if [law enforcement] would have the right to take the complaining witness’s phone or force her to have an invasive SANE evaluation.”
The Kenosha Professional Police Association condemned the allegations against Sylvester and immediately supported the termination, which was swiftly made by the-chief Eric Larsen.
According to court documents, the complaining witness in this case was alleged to be driving on 64th St near 96th Ave in Kenosha, with a .242 Blood Alcohol Level – more than three times the legal limit. She lost control of her car and hit a tree. She was charged with OWI.
City prosecutor Christine Genthner (D) dismissed the OWI in October of this year and won’t tell KCE why. This means, when and if this woman drives intoxicated again, it will be her first under statute. Genthner, a lifelong democrat, is the wife of the embattled former Joint Services Director Tom Genthner and a 30-year parishioner of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kenosha. This is the church with the rogue priest Roman Stikel (D) that supports C.U.S.H.’s pro-abortion and pro-trans activism.
Sylvester’s wife paid for the $15,000 bail and is standing by her husband, even being aware of Body-Worn-Camera footage depicting her husband “fingering” a drunk prisoner. They recently celebrated their 4 year anniversary.
Sylvester is scheduled to stand trial in May of 2024.