A trial date was set July 26 in the case against Dan Steffen, the former Burnett County Assistant District Attorney.
It was announced during Monday’s pre-trial conference, a five-day jury trial will be held Jan. 24-Jan. 28, 2022, with St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Nordstrand presiding.
Monday’s pre-trail conference was the third attempt after the first two were hampered by technical delays and availability of key people in the case.
Steffen, who lives in Osceola, is facing three charges of capturing an intimate representation, a Class I felony. The law defines the charges as “Captures an intimate representation without the consent of the person depicted under circumstances in which he or she has a reasonable expectation of privacy, if the person knows or has reason to know that the person who is depicted does not consent to the capture of the intimate representation.”
Steffen was charged in February with recording sexual encounters with two women secretly. One of the women alleges the relationship was in exchange for leniency in an ongoing case.
According to the criminal complaint, in 2020 Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ)– Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) opened an investigation after an agent learned a woman had openly talked about a sexual relationship with Steffen.
The victims in the complaint are identified only as victim #1 and victim #2.
DCI Special Agent Mary Van Schoyck interviewed victim #1, who was in Burnett County jail at the time, in February 2020. She denied the relationship and said she only met Steffen a couple of times in court. At that time, she had several open cases in Burnett County.
Then in May, victim #1 admitted to the relationship. She told investigators that Steffen had given her his cell phone number and began texting shortly after that.
Victim #1 said she had sex with Steffen at her residence, his residence and in his office during work hours.
When Van Schoyck executed a search warrant at Steffen’s home, she found evidence of an ongoing relationship with victim #1. They seized an iPad from Steffen’s Osceola home.
On the iPad, agents discovered videos of victim #1 having sex with Steffen.
In one video, Steffen asks victim #1, “Who’s in charge?” In the video, he looks at the camera and winks several times.
Van Schoyck asked victim #1 about the video and she confirmed it was her. She also told agents she did not know she was being filmed.
Victim #2 was in a third video on the iPad. When agents questioned her she confirmed it was her in the video. Their relationship was identified as mostly hookups. Victim #2 was also unaware she was being recorded and did not give consent to be filmed.
Wisconsin DOJ released a statement regarding the charges. They stated Wisconsin DOJ-DCI led the investigation and that Assistant Attorney General David Maas will be prosecuting the case.
The maximum sentence for these felony charges is 3 ½ years per count and a possible $10,000 fine.