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Judge denies sexual assault convict's motion to withdraw guilty plea

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - A La Crosse man imprisoned for threatening to sexually assault a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint in 2011 lost his appeal to a judge Thursday to withdraw his guilty plea.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that 63-year-old Edward Mathews represented himself during the hearing when he tried to convince  a La Crosse County Circuit Judge Dale Pasell that attorney Sean O’Neill “with criminal and corrupt intent” waived his right to a hearing that challenged the voluntariness of his confession.

He wanted his plea and 12-year prison sentence vacated but Pasell found he failed to show that O’Neill was deficient.

Police say the victim was walking to school Oct. 14, 2011 when Mathews, armed with a knife, approached and told her to walk behind a house a take off her pants. The girl pretended to comply before fleeing.

He was arrested days later when an officer caught him loitering in a car near Logan High School and discovered he was a registered sex offender. Police found a knife and clothing matching the assailant’s description in his car.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)