By Shereen Siewert
A 21-year-old Merrill man is facing multiple felony charges after he allegedly sexually assaulted several patients at a facility where he worked caring for people with cognitive disabilities.
Joseph Damico faces charges in two separate Marathon County cases. The first, filed in May, accuses Damico of sexually assaulting a mentally ill victim and sexual assault by a treatment facility employee. The most recent charge of sexual assault was filed this month, court records show.
In the first case, the alleged victim is a 24-year-old man with various developmental disabilities. The accusations surfaced in May after an employee at the Sherman Street group home where Damico worked reported seeing him with a client’s genitals in his hands. Additional allegations were uncovered during a forensic interview, court records show.
The alleged victim in the latest case, filed July 9, is also cognitively disabled and has the mental capacity of a young child, according to court documents. Police say Damico watched the woman in the bathroom, refusing to allow her to close the door for privacy, and touched her genitals on at least one occasion.
During a probable cause hearing held last month in Marathon County Circuit Court, Judge Mike Moran set at $5,000 cash bond for Damico. A pretrial conference is set for October.