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Florence man faces more serious sex assault charge

NICHOLAS KRAUSE

FLORENCE, Wis. — A Florence, Wis., man initially accused of attempted second-degree sexual assault pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a more serious charge in Florence County Circuit Court.

Nicholas Krause, 29, is charged with completed second degree sexual assault, a felony punishable by up to 40 years in prison.

Florence County District Attorney Doug Drexler offered Krause the opportunity to plead guilty to the attempted assault charge despite a recent lab report that confirmed the presence of Krause’s DNA on the victim.

“I’m not going to plead guilty to something I didn’t do,” Krause said.

Drexler withdrew the plea offer and amended the original charge.

A jury trial has yet to be scheduled.

According to the criminal complaint, Florence County deputies were called to the woman’s apartment after two of her friends reportedly found Krause in bed with her while she was unconscious.

The friends told deputies they had periodically checked on the woman after

a night of drinking when they saw Krause, naked below the waist, on top of her.

One witness said they pulled Krause off the woman and pushed him to the floor, the complaint stated. Krause reportedly ran from the house when authorities were called. Deputies found him outside another Florence residence. While being transported to the Florence County Jail, Krause claimed the encounter was consensual.

But the woman — who said she had no memory of the incident — told deputies Krause did not have her consent and should not have been in her apartment, according to the complaint.