By Shereen Siewert
A DNA sample taken in 2019 led police to identify and arrest a suspect accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in a downtown Wausau parking ramp.
Police say DNA material from a sexual assault examination matched that of Michael L. Tieman, of Wausau, who now faces felony charges filed this week in Marathon County Circuit Court.
Tieman, who was charged April 20 with second degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim, is jailed on a $10,000 cash bond.
According to the criminal complaint, a then-21-year-old woman called police the morning of March 9, 2019 after she woke up on the fifth floor of the Jefferson Street parking ramp’s southwest stairwell. The alleged victim told police she was out with friends the night before and awoke in the ramp, cell phone missing, with no recollection of how she got there.
Police took the woman to a Wausau emergency room, where she underwent a sexual assault examination. Nearly a year later, police identified Tieman through a hit on the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS.
CODIS blends forensic science and computer technology into a tool for linking violent crimes. The tool enables federal, state, and local forensic laboratories to exchange and compare DNA profiles electronically, thereby linking serial violent crimes to each other and to known offenders.
During an interview with police, Tieman, who was acquainted with the alleged victim through a former roommate, said he saw the woman passed out in the main level of the parking ramp and went to check on her to make sure she was alive. But when the woman saw Tieman and another man, she got into the elevator and “ran off,” according to court documents.
Tieman followed the woman to bring her a purse she left behind, and began to fondle her after he discovered she had passed out.
“I was trying to protect her and I became the very thing I was trying to protect her from,” Tieman allegedly said.
A preliminary hearing is set for May 4.