By Shereen Siewert
A Rothschild man who served five years behind bars for intentionally scalding a 16-month old boy is facing new charges, after a Wausau woman accused him of sexually assaulting her at a New Year’s Eve party.
Christopher Kolden was 22 when he dipped the boy’s face in 177-degree water, according to court records. In March 2017, Marathon County Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson sentenced Kolden to five years in prison on charges of neglecting a child where the consequence is great bodily harm, but allowed Kolden credit for the nearly two years he spent behind bars awaiting trial.
Charges were filed in March 2015 after Kolden, the live-in boyfriend of the victim’s mother, told police the boy turned on a bathtub faucet and burned his face when Kolden left the bathroom briefly to fetch a diaper and clothing.
But a child abuse expert told police that the child’s injuries were inconsistent with Kolden’s explanation, according to the criminal complaint. Dr. Barbara Knox, medical director of the University of Wisconsin Health Pediatric Child Protection Clinic, told police the boy’s face was definitely dipped into extremely hot water, which may have not been in the bathtub at all, according to court records.
Kolden was released from prison in March 2019 and remained on active supervision at the time of his most recent arrest, when a woman told police Kolden viciously attacked her during a holiday party. Kolden, a guest at the party, allegedly followed the woman into her bedroom, grabbed her by the throat, pinned her to the bed and sexually assaulted her.
Kolden now faces charges of second-degree sexual assault with the use of force and fourth-degree sexual assault. He is being charged as a repeat offender, which can result in additional prison time if he is convicted.
During an initial appearance Jan. 4, Kolden was ordered held on a $3,000 bond and remains behind bars on a probation hold as of Thursday. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 13.