By Shereen Siewert

A Wausau man who led police on a 30-mile chase that ended in an hours-long standoff was convicted of felony charges in several cases Wednesday, including a case involving the assault of two young children.

Starr Beson, 34, was already awaiting trial on drug and child neglect charges when accusations surfaced in 2018 that he sexually assaulted a 4-year-old and 6-year-old child. The alleged assaults happened between Feb. 1 and May 1, 2017.

Beson was already awaiting sentencing in March 2018 after being convicted of child neglect battery and drug charges. He was to be sentenced in May 2018 after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors. But on March 19, 2018, Beson faced new charges after the two victims told investigators Beson improperly touched them, while the youngest girl told police Beson was lying on the bed naked while he was touching her, according to court documents. The girls’ mother told police she was regularly using cocaine at the of the alleged assaults and “wasn’t paying attention to the signs,” according to the criminal complaint.

In July 2020, Beson was set for sentencing after reaching a plea deal in the assault case. That deal was voided when Beson was arrested on new bail jumping charges, court records show. A new sentencing date was set for September and Beson remained free on a cash bond. But Beson never showed up for his sentencing hearing, prompting a judge to issue a warrant.

Four months later, Beson, wanted by police, led officers on a 30-mile chase and kept officers at bay for hours.

That incident began when police tried to pull Beson’s vehicle over on Hwy. 51 in Rib Mountain for a speeding violation, according to the incident report. A K-9 sniff of the vehicle suggested drugs were present, prompting the deputy to ask Beson, who initially gave officers the first name of Robert, to step out of the vehicle.

Instead of complying, police say, Beson fled, leading police on a chase through Marathon and Lincoln Counties. After avoiding several sets of tire deflation devices and allegedly throwing a bag of drugs out the window, Beson stopped on Hwy. A near Villa Road, east of Tomahawk and put a knife to his own throat, according to court filings. A three-hour standoff ensued. No one, including a passenger in Beson’s vehicle, was injured.

During a plea and sentencing hearing Wednesday, Beson was convicted of child enticement, possession of child pornography, possession of methamphetamine and bail jumping. Circuit Judge Greg Strasser sentenced Beson to eight years in prison followed by five years extended supervision. He will be required to register as a sex offender.

Beson was granted 462 days credit for time served.