By Shereen Siewert
A Wausau sex offender with a history of escaping from custody is wanted again after allegedly leaving a Green Bay halfway house through an open window during the night and failing to return.
James Begay has a long criminal history dating back to October 2005, when he was convicted of raping a 10-year-old child. Because Begay was 16 when he was convicted, he was under the supervision of the Wisconsin Division of Juvenile Corrections in 2010 when he cut off his ankle monitor and sexually assaulted a 19-year-old Wausau woman on the city’s west side.
After his escape in 2010, Begay, then 21, approached a 19-year-old woman in the 700 block of Werle Avenue who was letting her dog out and asked the woman for a cigarette. Court records show Begay then pulled a knife, grabbed the woman around the throat, told her he would kill her if she didn’t stay quiet, dragged her into a neighbor’s yard and assaulted her. The victim told police Begay was about to rape her when a motion-activated yard light scared him away. His discarded ankle monitor was discovered in an alley, according to past media reports, and Begay was captured hours later.
The victim identified Begay from a photo lineup and DNA evidence confirmed Begay was the woman’s attacker. He served five years in prison for the assault before reaching his mandatory release date in 2015.
But months later, in January 2016, Begay cut off his monitor again, this time disappearing for a week before he was apprehended near downtown Wausau.
In July 2019, Begay cut off his GPS monitor again and vanished from his transitional housing location in the 600 block of Jefferson Street. He was apprehended after Wausau Police posted a plea on Facebook asking for tips on his location. Begay went back to prison until November 2020, when he again was placed on active supervision and released in Wausau.
In April his supervising agent reported that Begay was residing at the Marshall House in Green Bay and would remain there for 60 to 90 days. But he allegedly absconded on May 23 and did not update his address with agents as required by the conditions of the sex offender registry and his supervision.
Marathon County Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson on Aug. 18 authorized an arrest warrant for Begay, who remains at large as of Monday.