Sexual assault charges filed
A man accused of raping a teenaged girl in 2012 is now in custody on a $5,000 cash bond.
Leroy R. Whittenberger, 49, Marion, is charged with four felony counts of second-degree sexual assault involving the use of force.
On July 20, 2012, New London Police Sgt. Todd Sarazin spoke with a woman who said Whittenberger had sex with a 17-year-old girl.
The woman said she met Whittenberger at her workplace, when he applied for employment. They exchanged phone numbers, and the two began calling and texting each other.
One day, the woman said she was concerned about the girl’s interactions with men on her cellphone.
According to the criminal complaint, Whittenberger offered to pretend to be a younger man and text the girl to see if he could learn what she was doing.
He later told the woman she had nothing to worry about.
On July 19, 2012, Whittenberger sent the woman several text messages, saying he wanted to meet her and asking about her work schedule.
They met at her apartment around noon. The girl was there.
Before the woman returned to work, Whittenberger allegedly said he was tired and wanted to sleep on the couch.
At 3:20 p.m., the girl texted the woman and said Whittenberger had left.
When the woman called Whittenberger and asked why, he said he was tired and needed some sleep.
At 6 p.m., the woman told Sarazin that Whittenberger called her and said, “I’m so sorry. I owe you a huge apology. I need to talk to you now and I can’t.” He then hung up.
When Sarazin spoke with Whittenberger about the girl’s allegations, he denied that anything happened, but said he gave the girl a massage.
The girl told Officer Cheri Johnson that she and Whittenberger were sitting on the couch. When she got up to turn on the TV, he grabbed her shorts and pulled them down. He allegedly groped her and forced her to have sex with him multiple times.
On Dec. 17, 2017, the state Crime Lab tested a DNA sample taken from the girl five years earlier and found it matched Whittenberger’s DNA.
On April 8, 2002, Whittenberger was convicted in Lincoln County of misdemeanor fourth-degree sexual assault and placed on 18 months of probation. A condition of his probation was that he have no contact with females under 18 and provide a DNA sample.
On March 28, 2008, Whittenberger was convicted in Marathon County of two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and placed on three years of probation. He served 90 days in jail as a condition of his probation.
On March 29, 2018, Whittenberger was charged in Lincoln County with a third drunken driving offense.