Richard E. Dewitt, age 37, of Indiana, was arrested on Friday, June 13, at 1:45 p.m. for attempted sexual assault, strangulation, and false imprisonment. The arrest was a result of an investigation into a disturbance that occurred at the Festival Grounds earlier in the day.
Dewitt was formally charged June 16 by the Lafayette County District Attorney. Charges included false imprisonment, strangulation, battery, and attempted second degree sexual assault. The victim in this case was a 43 year old female from Wausau and was a co-worker of Dewitt. Both were employed by the traveling carnival group that was in town for the Canoe Festival. Dewitt allegedly entered the victim’s sleeping quarters at roughly 2:30 a.m. on Friday morning, June 13, where he allegedly struck and strangled the victim in an attempt to have sexual relations with her. A witness came to the victim’s aid and ended the assault. The victim was transported by private vehicle to Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County where she was treated and released.