By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — A 56-year-old former D.C. Everest Middle School science teacher accused of tying up and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl faces new criminal charges after he was arrested Thursday on suspicion of drunken driving.
Peter Schmidt, of Mosinee, appeared Friday in Marathon County Circuit Court to face charges of third offense drunken driving, possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping. Additional, unrelated charges of disorderly conduct and bail jumping were also filed Friday against the former teacher.
Police say Schmidt was arrested after an officer allegedly observed him driving erratically in Rothschild. Officers said Schmidt had glassy eyes and smelled strongly of alcohol. They also discovered drug paraphernalia containing marijuana residue in Schmidt’s possession, according to the police report. Blood test results are pending.
The disorderly conduct charges filed Friday stem from a December incident at The Office, 662 Grand Ave., Schofield. There, an assistant manager reported to police that Schmidt had entered the tavern with a young female who appeared to be using a fake ID to buy alcohol. The employee recognized Schmidt from past media coverage and asked Schmidt to leave the premises. That’s when Schimdt allegedly threw a drink at the employee before leaving with his female companion. The incident was captured on surveillance video at the business.
Schmidt is already facing charges of first degree sexual assault with a person younger than 16, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child enticement, false imprisonment, intimidating a victim/dissuade reporting, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
An investigation began in May after a now-15-year-old girl and her parents contacted Mosinee police. The alleged victim told police that she met Schmidt, who used the name “Kyle,” on a social media app called Whisper in the summer of 2016. Soon after the two began regularly communicating on both Whisper and Snapchat, Schmidt began telling the girl he wanted to have sex with her and “make her purr like a kitten,” according to the criminal complaint.
At one point, Schmidt bought the girl about $300 in makeup and left it under a tree in a park near where the girl worked, police said, and continued to ask her to meet for sex. Eventually, the girl agreed to meet Schmidt in person and on a Friday in August 2016 he picked her up and drove her to his home. There, police say, Schmidt tied the girl to his bedpost using neckties and sexually assaulted her. He was arrested in August 2018; criminal charges were filed Aug. 24.
Schmidt spent more than 28 years as a teacher in the D.C. Everest School District and taught at Riverside Elementary before his most recent role at the middle school.
On the day the charges became public, Everest Superintendent Kristine Gilmore issued a statement to parents explaining that although the child involved was not a student in the district, staff took immediate action.
“On the evening of August 21, the D.C. Everest Area School District was informed by the Mosinee Police Department that one of our Middle School staff members is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation,” Gilmore’s letter to parents reads. “Upon receiving this notification, the district immediately took appropriate actions to ensure the safety of students and staff, including locking all of the individual’s electronic equipment, disabling district key card access, and placing the individual on leave including a directive to remain off district property.”
Gilmore said the district is cooperating fully with the investigation.
“The safety of our students is our first priority,” Gilmore said in August.
Schmidt is free on bond. His next court appearance on all charges is a status conference set for Jan. 30.