CRANDON, Wisc. — A Wisconsin man has been arrested on charges that he sexually abused several young girls over a period of six years and performed an abortion on one of them after impregnating her.
Matthew Christenson, 33, of Crandon is accused of molesting five girls, ages 12-17, in January 2010, December 2012, August 2015 and April 2016. Some of the girls are relatives and others are friends of the family.
A sixth victim, a boy, told investigators that he had been physically abused by Christenson as he struck him with a switch, canoe paddle, wooden stick, bull whip, crescent wrench, and fire poker on various occasions. He also told police that he had been kept in the closet and given only a potato to eat.
Several of the other youth told investigators that Christenson gave them alcohol and marijuana, and some said that Christenson repeatedly had sex with them.
“[Victim 2 told investigators] that it was so many times [the victim] did not even know, but it was over one hundred times,” the criminal complaint filed by Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono reads, according to WJFW-TV.
One girl would “say no [to sex], but [Christenson] would slap [the victim] in the face,” it outlines. And another victim told investigators that “[Christenson] would tell [her] that he wanted [her] to be his [spouse].”
When one of the girls was in sixth grade, she became pregnant with Christenson’s child, the complaint states. She told police that the man later attempted to perform an abortion on her. While details have not been provided, the manner in which Christenson attempted to end the child’s life was described as “crude.”
Christenson has now been charged with 14 felonies that include sexual assault and child abuse. He was originally charged with one count each of second-degree sexual assault of a child and second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim, but the criminal complaint and charges were amended after learning of the additional victims.
If convicted, Christenson faces up to 454 years behind bars. He is currently being held in the Forest County Jail on $75,000 cash bond and is set to appear in court on May 3.
“It’s painful [to think about this case],” Braden Bayne-Allison of the Tri-County Council told WAOW-TV. “You talk about the innocence of children…”