By Shereen Siewert
A 31-year-old Rothschild man who struck a police vehicle before being taken into custody on child enticement charges will spend four years on probation, part of a withheld sentence and plea agreement.
Romaine E. Pershing on June 30 was sentenced in Marathon County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to the child enticement charge. As part of a plea agreement, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser dismissed charges of fleeing an officer and of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime against a child.
A withheld sentence means that if Pershing violates the conditions of his four-year supervision and his probation is revoked, he will return to court for further sentencing and could be sent to prison.
Police say Pershing, using the name “Roman Pershing,” began exchanging Facebook messages in November 2018 with a person he thought was a 15-year-old girl. The messages continued until the afternoon of June 28, 2019, when Pershing asked to meet up with the teen — and bring condoms — despite knowing her age, according to court documents.
On the way to the planned meetup in Rib Mountain police intercepted Pershing, who was driving a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup. But when a Marathon County Sheriff’s captain tried to stop the truck, Pershing instead allegedly attempted to flee, striking the captain’s vehicle in the process. No one was injured and Pershing’s vehicle was stopped a short time later.
Police say they discovered a condom in the folding arm of the seat rest of the vehicle.
During an interview with police Pershing initially denied wanting to have sex with the teen but just wanted to “hang out” despite living with a girlfriend. When investigators asked him why he didn’t just want to “hang out” with his girlfriend, Pershing responded “yeah, with three kids and a cockroach infested apartment,” according to the report.
Eventually, Pershing allegedly admitted he intended to meet the teen for sex and fled when he saw squad cars at the planned meetup.
At sentencing, Judge Strasser also ordered Pershing to register as a sex offender. He is prohibited from any social media use.