By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — A former Wausau paramedic and firefighter convicted of sexually assaulting a patient in an ambulance is facing new felony charges – this time involving an alleged sexual assault of an unconscious victim.
Clifford Heiser, 38, was sentenced in 2019 to a year in jail and four years probation in connection with the ambulance assault. Heiser reached a plea deal with prosecutors the same day a jury trial was set to begin and was convicted of two counts each of fourth degree sexual assault and misconduct in office.
Additional charges were dismissed but were read into the record for consideration at sentencing.
In November 2019 Circuit Judge Greg Huber sentenced Heiser to 3 1/2 years in prison on the felony misconduct charge, but imposed and stayed the sentence, ordering Heiser to spend four years on probation. That means if Heiser successfully completes probation, he could avoid prison time, but violations could result in a prison term.
Heiser was also required to register as a sex offender and remain on the registry for 15 years.
In the earlier case, an investigation began in September 2017 after a then-29-year-old patient came forward accusing Heiser of sexually assaulting her in the back of an ambulance. He was arrested by Wausau police after they received DNA results that showed Heiser’s saliva on the woman’s breast. Heiser was transporting the woman to a local hospital when the assault took place.
The Wausau Fire Department placed Heiser on administrative leave when the investigation began. He resigned shortly afterward.
On Wednesday, prosecutors filed new charges against Heiser. Court records show he is facing two counts of second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim, both felony charges that could put his previous plea agreement in jeopardy.
Details on the alleged assault were not immediately available, but during an intial appearance Wednesday, Circuit Judge Rick Cveykus ordered Heiser held on a $20,000 cash bond. Wausau Pilot & Review has reached out to the Marathon County Circuit Court system for a copy of the criminal complaint and will update this story when documents are received.
A calendar call is set for Dec. 8 for Heiser, who is being charged as a repeat offender. He remains behind bars as of Nov. 16.