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On multiple counts of sexual assault (repeated acts), the Prairie du Chien jury found Attorney Christopher T. Van Wagner's client not guilty on all counts.

On the charge of sexual assault of an unconscious victim, the Dane County (Madison WI) jury found Attorney Tracey A. Wood's client not guilty.
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Sexual Assault Investigation, Janesville Wisconsin

Interview: Attorney Christopher Van Wagner, Channel 3000

Assault Investigation

32-Year-old Antonia Polland

Eric: Chris can you take us to what's maybe going on behind the scenes, because it's not normal for a suspect to be released, right?

Chris: Well Eric, you have to figure here that what happened immediately was an identification based upon a very popular jacket of some major league baseball team or pro-sports team. It seemed to happen quickly. It seemed to fit the general description, they seemed to think they had the suspect and they grabbed him quickly. These jackets are everywhere. You see them everywhere; they are everywhere you look. So I think what happened here was they grabbed him and then they said, "wait a minute, he's got some answers that don't fit our facts, so lets take a deeper look". They're not sure he's not the guy. He was probably in the area. He matches the description. He has the jacket. But they're going to let him go at this point on very strict scrutiny until they know for sure they got the right guy.

Eric: Janesville police have only said new evidence cast doubt on Polland's alleged involvement, what might that be?

Chris: Well the first thing is, they probably talked to him, and he probably gave them some pretty good answers that were then backed up by some other people. They have to check those other people's versions to see if it's accurate. But the second thing that probably happened is that they got a tip on somebody else who matches the description better or maybe had difficulty with the ID. Maybe a person looked at him and said that doesn't look like the guy, it looks like the jacket. The jacket is good, but it's not enough to go forward. They want to be sure here.

Eric: A little legal 101 here; why is the burden of proof different for police and prosecutors?

Chris: Well, the first thing is that anytime you restrict someone's liberty by locking them up in jail on suspicion of a crime, they are innocent until proven guilty. At the very least, the DA wants to hear the police chief present enough evidence to say, "this appears to be the guy", as opposed to "this appears to be the jacket", or "this appears to be someone who could be the guy". They have to do that frankly, or they could be subject to suit.

Eric: What do you think is next in terms of how police and prosecutors approach this?

Chris: Well, I have a feeling that the gentlemen who's a suspect is going to be under very close scrutiny while he's on his bracelet. They are probably going to be following him, watching his house, watching his job, if he has one. At the same time, they're going to dig real hard into whatever answers they got from him and other witnesses that raised the doubts, to either verify them or dismiss them. After they get some answers, maybe they will bring him back in and ask for higher bail, and if not, then they will keep looking.

Eric: Interesting case. Chris Van Wagner; former federal prosecutor and defense attorney. Thank You.