Former La Crosse Diocese administrator charged with sexual assault of child

A former Diocese of La Crosse administrator has been charged in Marathon County with sexual assault of a child, according to a complaint filed April 6.

Steven Smolek, 59, of La Crosse, was charged April 6 with child enticement, two counts of exposing genitals and sexual intercourse with a child age 16 or older in an incident in January or February 2015, according to the criminal complaint.

Smolek told investigators that he met the victim through an social networking app called Skout.

According to the La Crosse Tribune, La Crosse police learned that Skout reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an adult male engaged in sexually explicit conversations with a user who identified himself as a 12-year-old boy.

Police traced the internet address of the adult to the Diocese of La Crosse.The adult user provided a cellphone number belonging to Smolek, investigators said.

Charges in Marathon County have no connection to or relationship with the Diocese of La Crosse or any of its schools, according to a statement from the Diocese of La Crosse, dated April 28.

Smolek was employed by the Diocese as the Assistant Superintendent for Schools from August 26th 2015 to November 23rd, 2016. He resigned his employment on November 23rd, 2016, the Diocese said.

The Diocese also stated that before Smolek was employed, he, as well as all Diocesan employees with contact with children, was subjected to comprehensive criminal background checks which revealed no criminal record.

During the time he was employed by the Diocese and after, no complaints were ever made to the Diocese about any of his actions as a Diocesan employee, according to the statement.