By Shereen Siewert

A Mosinee man who spent decades teaching middle school children in the D.C. Everest district will spend 12 years in prison on charges of tying up and sexually assaulting a teenage girl he met through social media.

Peter Schmidt, 57 was convicted in January of sexually assaulting a child younger than 16, after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors. Schmidt was sentenced Monday, days after a warrant for his arrest was issued for allegedly violating bond.

In addition to the prison term Marathon County Circuit Judge Greg Huber ordered Schmidt to spend eight years on extended supervision following his eventual release from prison and register as a sex offender life. Schmidt’s defense attorney asked for a term of seven years.

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. He is no longer employed by the district.

An investigation began in May 2018 after a girl and her parents contacted Mosinee police. The victim told police that she met Schmidt, who used the name “Kyle,” on Whisper, a social media app, 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 worth of cosmetics items 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, according to court documents.

The girl, 14, eventually agreed to meet Schmidt in person and  in August 2016 Schmidt allegedly 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 and released on a cash bond.

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Schmidt was arrested again in January 2019 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. That arrest prompted charges of third offense drunken driving, possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping.

Additional, unrelated charges of disorderly conduct and bail jumping were filed the same day against Schmidt connected to a December 2018 incident at The Office in 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, according to court documents. 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.

Then in June 2019, Schmidt was charged again, this time with possession of marijuana and three counts of bail jumping.

In a fourth case filed in January, Schmidt allegedly threatened a Marathon County Sheriff’s deputy who arrested him on bail jumping charges after discovering him in a tavern, a violation of Schmidt’s bond conditions. Schmidt, while in the back of a squad car, allegedly told the deputy to pull over, take off his uniform and “settle it like men.” “I’ll knock you out like a little (expletive),” Schmidt allegedly told the deputy.

In an email to Wausau Pilot & Review last week Schmidt maintained his innocence in the sexual assault case and said he took a plea deal because he wanted the ordeal to end.

Schmidt will be on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life.

During his sentencing hearing Monday, Schmidt was also sentenced to 60 days in jail on the drunken driving charge, a sentence that will run at the same time as his prison term.