By Shereen Siewert
A 37-year-old Wausau man with an extensive criminal history is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl while her mother was at work and her two brothers were in the family’s home.
Phillip B. Henle, who is not related to the alleged victim, appeared Oct. 10 in Marathon County Circuit Court to face two counts of sexual assault of a child younger than 13; child enticement; and exposing genitals to a child. Wisconsin Department of Corrections records show Henle was on extended supervision at the time the alleged assaults took place and has a long string of past convictions including sexual assault, attempted robbery, forgery, robbery with a threat of force, exposing genitals to a minor, obstructing an officer, misappropriation of identification information and bail jumping. The majority of his past offenses were charged in Brown, Winnebago and Outagamie Counties and stretch back for decades, court records show.
An investigation began in July after the alleged victim disclosed the abuse to her father and stepmother, who called police.
During a forensic interview, the alleged victim said Henle made her “pinky promise” not to tell anyone about the abuse, which she said happened in June at her mother’s town of Easton home while her mother worked an overnight shift. A check of employment records showed the girl’s mother did work overnight shifts on the dates that coincided with the alleged abuse, according to the criminal complaint.
DOC records show Henle was most recently released from Redgranite Correctional Institution in September 2018 and remains on active supervision. During his initial appearance this week, Circuit Judge Jill Falstad ordered him held on a $2,500 cash bond, though he is also subject to a corrections hold.
A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 21 for Henle, who remains in the Marathon County Jail.