Wisconsin court rejects Monroe County man’s appeal of conviction on 36 counts of sexual abuse of children


MADISON (WKBT) — A Wisconsin appeals court Thursday rejected the appeal of a Monroe County man to his conviction on 36 counts of sexual-assault related charges.



Michael T. Dewey, 42, was convicted in April 2016 after a four-day trial in Monroe County Circuit Court in Sparta. His crimes included nine counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child, six counts of repeated sexual assault of a child, two counts of incest and seven counts of exposing genitals to a child, among others.

Dewey based his appeal on two arguments:

  • That the circuit court erroneously denied his pretrial motion to dismiss most of the counts because the charging periods were “too long and disjointed” to allow him to prepare an adequate defense, violating his right to due process.
  • That his trial counsel was ineffective in not objecting to jury instructions for five counts, failing to protect his rights to a unanimous jury decision.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals District IV rejected both contentions, saying on the first issue that that the “charging periods were reasonable and provided Dewey with adequate notice of the charges against him.”

On the second issue, the court ruled that Dewey “fails to show either that counsel’s failure to object prejudiced his defense or that this is an extraordinary case warranting discretionary reversal.”

Dewey was sentenced to 25 years in prison and 10 years’ probation on many of the 36 counts, with varying lesser penalties on the others.

Background the appeals court cited included the fact that “Dewey was a father figure to two children during his relationship with their mother, from approximately 2002 to 2014.”

During that time, he lived with the children and their mother at various times in different locations, including Tomah and Oakdale. The children alleged sexual abuse in October 2014, and the state filed a criminal complaint with the 36 counts.

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