A Westby man was arrested on charges of first-degree sexual assault of a child.
According to a news release from the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office in Viroqua, Michael Eales, 23, was arrested following a multi-jurisdictional investigation between the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security, Westby Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspectors Office.
Postal inspectors were involved because the case began as a spin-off of a postal investigation. Homeland Security was involved because the case involved child pornography.
The Sheriff’s Office will refer Eales to the Vernon County District Attorney’s office for multiple counts of first degree sexual assault of a child, a charge in which the victim is younger than 13.
Deputy Sheriff Nathan Campbell told the Vernon County Broadcaster of Viroqua that the case involves “a very young child.”
Eales has a prior criminal record, according to state Circuit Court records.
In 2009, he had a felony vehicle theft conviction placed in a diversion agreement in La Crosse County. He has also been convicted of misdemeanor theft charges, and received three underage drinking citations before turning 21.
He will face a grand jury in Madison June 27 for federal charges, in addition to the state charges.
The case remains under investigation.