LANCASTER, Wis. -- Two rural Fennimore men are facing multiple felony charges in Grant County Circuit Court that include sexual assault of a child, attempted sexual assault of a child, incest and misdemeanor charges of engaging in bestiality.
No court date has been set for brothers Christian G. Stoltzfus, 19, and Dannie S. Stoltzfus, 18, who have not yet been arrested. The criminal complaints were filed Tuesday morning after a three-month investigation by a Grant County Sheriff's Department investigator and the Grant County Department of Social Services.
Christian Stoltzfus is charged with repeated sexual assault of a child, incest, attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child younger than 13 without great bodily harm, first-degree sexual assault of a child without great bodily harm, exposing genitals and sexual gratification with an animal (a horse and cows). There are 11 criminal counts alleged to have happened over a four-year period at Amish farms in Hickory Grove and Mount Ida townships. If convicted on all 11 counts, Christian Stoltzfus faces more than 400 years in prison, $230,000 in fines, or both.
Dannie Stoltzfus faces two charges of incest and one charge of sexual gratification with an animal (a horse). If convicted on all counts, he faces 80 years and nine months in prison, $210,000 in fines, or both.
Grant County Sheriff Keith Govier said the Amish community fully cooperated with the investigation. He said six victims were interviewed.
"It was a challenge working with the Amish community; they tend to want to isolate themselves," Govier said. "But when we've absolutely needed their cooperation in the past, they've opened up their homes and communities. I also have to hand it to our investigator -- Rick Place. It was very time-consuming."
Govier believes the alleged incidents are isolated and "not indicative" of the Amish community in Grant County.
"And as evidence of that belief, I will point out that they have received both social services and mental health services in an effort to deal with this situation," he said.
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