JUNEAU — A criminal case that began with a criminal complaint filed in 2010 over incidents dating back three decades may come to a close with a plea and sentencing hearing May 13 for former Fox Lake Police Chief Patrick Lynch.
Lynch, 63, still resides in Fox Lake. He resigned from the Fox Lake Police Department in February 2009 after serving for 14 years as chief. He is charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child and three counts of stalking.
The sexual assault claim is from 1989. According to the criminal complaint, a woman who is now 38 said when she was 7, Lynch sexually assaulted her in the bathroom of her family’s home. She reported Lynch was a friend of her father and was wearing his Randolph police uniform when the assault occurred.
Lynch also is accused of three counts of stalking.
The woman who accused him of sexual assault also told police that when she was in high school, Lynch would wait in his marked Fox Lake Police squad car in the parking lot of her workplace in Beaver Dam when she left for the night. Lynch claimed he was waiting to give a relative a ride. She also said Lynch showed up at a bank where she worked and drove past her home in Beaver Dam multiple times over the course of several years.
The second count of stalking is related to a 2007 incident that resulted in Lynch being suspended from the police force for four days. In the 2007 incident, a man who dated Lynch’s ex-wife from 2004 to 2007 reported Lynch arrived at his ex-wife’s apartment and hit him in the face. The man said Lynch continued hitting him until he fell to the ground, then kicked him in the head. The man who reported the incident was charged with disorderly conduct.
The final complaint of stalking was from a former employee of the Fox Lake Police Department.
She reported after she left the police department, she went to work at another business in Fox Lake. She said she would see Lynch up to 10 times a day. When she was at work and her supervisor was gone, Lynch would come in and try to talk to her. She reported she developed a code word, so other employees would come to where she was and she wouldn’t be left alone with Lynch.
The case appeared before now-retired circuit court judge Andrew Bissonette in 2010. Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Martin De Vries has handled the case since that date and will preside over Lynch’s plea hearing May 13.
Lynch’s case was sent to the state Supreme Court in 2011 but was delayed as an appeals court was waiting on a decision in a case with similar circumstances that was being heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Both cases involved the release of private therapy records of a victim.
In a pretrial motion in circuit court, the defense requested a review of the mental health treatment and counseling records of the victim. The circuit court found that Lynch demonstrated there is a reasonable likelihood the information enclosed in privileged records is necessary for a fair trial. That means the woman would have to release her mental health records prior to a trial for Lynch.
She refused to release her records until a decision was made by a higher court. The court of appeals upheld the decision made by the circuit court that her records would be necessary for a fair trial and the woman appealed again to the state Supreme Court. A Supreme Court decision in July 2016 resulted in the case being sent back to circuit court.
The case is being prosecuted by Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Shelly Rusch.