Washburn County Jury Finds Sarona Man Guilty of Sexual Assault of a Child, Third Degree Sexual Assault, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Intentional Homicide, Solicitation of First Degree Intentional Homicide

Mar 25 2021

SHELL LAKE, Wis. – On March 24, 2021, a jury in Washburn County found Russell L. Wilson of Sarona, Wis. guilty of engaging in repeated sexual assault of the same child, third degree sexual assault, conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide, and solicitation of first degree intentional homicide. The trial was presided over by Barron County Judge J.M. Bitney.


“The people of Washburn County are now safer because the defendant has been convicted of these horrific crimes,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Thank you to those at DOJ, as well as those at the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office, the victim/witness programs of the Washburn and Sawyer County DA’s offices, whose work led to today’s verdict.”


The evidence presented at trial established that the defendant sexually assaulted his girlfriend’s teenage daughter for three months before being arrested. While awaiting trial on that case, the defendant solicited and conspired to have the victim and her mother killed.


The conviction was the result of investigations by the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Victim services were provided by the Washburn County District Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Program with trial assistance from the Sawyer County District Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Program.


The case was tried by Assistant Attorney General Annie Jay with assistance from Paralegal Rochelle Ederer.


A sentencing hearing has not yet been set. The crimes carry a potential maximum of 82.5 years of confinement.