EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An Eau Claire man will serve a hefty prison sentence in a recent sexual assault case involving multiple victims, including children.
(Source: Pxhere/MGN Online)
Officials say the case was a joint effort between the Eau Claire Police Department and the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office. The victims include two young girls and a woman.
"So the way this came about was a young lady kind of opened up to a teacher at school about some things that had happened to her in the past, a number of things to include one more recent assault," said Detective Josh Miller with the Eau Claire Police Department.
According to a criminal complaint filed against 35 year-old Trent J. Woodman, the young victim was just 14 years old. Court documents vividly detail repeated sexual acts between Woodman and the victim.
Police say after being interviewed, Woodman ultimately confessed to sexual assault of the child but that wasn’t the end of it.
Investigators say they discovered two additional victims, one of them 11 years-old at the time who officials say Woodman also assaulted. "This was a very evil individual who would have continued to offend and has caused life-long damage to these girls they will probably never fully recover from," said Detective Miller.
Investigators say the case involved a collaborative effort between both the police and sheriff's departments. “It was very advantageous in this case to be in the same detective room...being next door to each other, we could compare notes with each other and compare facts about this case," said Detective Ryan Greener with the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators say working together is what makes arrests in a case like this possible "This case when it first came out there was offenses in both jurisdictions, especially in cases like this it's always traumatic for the victims to retell their story and go through this so when we can put out heads together - they only have to tell their story to one person," said Miller.
Detective Greener says even though they work for separate departments, they’re on the same team. “It’s the same common goal - the same common interest of solving cases in a timely fashion and being able to hold the person accountable,” he said.
After hearing victim testimony, an Eau Claire County judge sentenced Woodman to 38 years in prison Tuesday, a sentence officials say is rare in a case of this kind but appropriate and warranted.