Man charged with imprisoning woman in La Crosse house

Cole Clark
Cole Clark(COURTESY: LA CROSSE COUNTY JAIL)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:24 AM CST
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - Prosecutors have charged a 27-year-old man with imprisoning a woman in her home in La Crosse earlier this month.

Cole J. Clark of Lancaster was charged Tuesday in La Crosse County with felony kidnapping, false imprisonment, intimidating a victim by use of force and bail jumping, the La Crosse Tribune reported Thursday. He also was charged with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman told police that Clark showed up uninvited at her home on Jan. 11 and wouldn’t leave. He messaged the woman’s family and told them that she’d been in a car accident and was hospitalized in Madison and that doctors wouldn’t allow any visitors.

The woman said that she feared for her life if she tried to escape. She said Clark took her to the hospital at one point to address a medical issue. He didn’t leave her side during the visit and threatened to hurt her if she told anyone she was in trouble, according to the complaint.

The woman escaped on Jan. 15 when a family member knocked on the door. Clark allegedly hid in a closet, giving her a chance to run outside, the complaint said. Police surrounded the house and the man surrendered without incident.

Clark denied any wrongdoing, and is quoted in the criminal complaint as saying the woman asked him to call her mother and make up an accident story because she needed a break.

Assistant District Attorney Nick Passe said Clark was charged last year with abusing the same woman. Those charges are still pending.

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