Zachary M. Covella, 33, of Wausau. Felony charges filed Dec. 27 include stalking, strangulation/suffocation, and two counts of second degree sexual assault with the use of force.

By Shereen Siewert

A 34-year-old registered sex offender who repeatedly assaulted a former girlfriend and tracked her movements through her phone will learn his fate in March, after being convicted of multiple charges in the case.

Zachary Covella, of Wausau, previously made headlines in 2013 after police found videos and images on his computer that portrayed sex acts between young boys. In February 2015, Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson sentenced Covella to three years in prison followed by three years extended supervision. He was granted 648 days sentence credit for time served awaiting trial and was not on supervision at the time of his most recent arrest.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry shows Covella as a lifetime registrant who had previously met his registration requirements in the program.

But in December 2019, Covella faced new charges after police were prompted to conduct a welfare check on the victim. When police made contact, the woman told investigators that Covella frequently pulled her hair, kicked her with his steel-toed boots and often hit her on her head, according to court documents. Police say Covella stalked the woman by tracking her mobile phone and threatened her with a knife.

The victim also told police Covella sexually assaulted her repeatedly, tried to strangle her and threatened to report her for kidnapping if she left him and took her daughter.

Covella was charged Dec. 27, 2019 with two counts of second degree sexual assault with the use of force, strangulation/suffocation, stalking, battery and three counts of having contact after a domestic abuse arrest. As part of a plea agreement, Circuit Judge Mike Moran dropped the sexual assault charges but convicted Covella of strangulation and suffocation, stalking, battery, and three counts of making contact after a domestic abuse arrest. Because the charges carry a repeater enhancer, Covella could face stiffer penalties when he is sentenced.

Covella, who remains jailed on a $10,000 cash bond, will be sentenced March 16.