Dodge County drops charges against Gerlach

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Dodge County case against the Brownsdale man convicted and sentenced in Mower County of sexually abusing a boy for years has been dropped, according to court records.

David Andrew Gerlach, 50, had been charged with single counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, third-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct and gross misdemeanor contributing to the need for child protection or services for his alleged contact with a Hayfield teen, who was at least 16 at the time of the offenses.

Dodge County assistant attorney Gary Remine moved to dismissed the case April 23, saying previously that the Mower County conviction trumped any penalty that could result from his county’s case. A trial would have also forced the victim to take the stand, he said.

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According to the criminal complaint, the victim’s mother intercepted a text message from Gerlach and called authorities, who arranged a meeting July 22 with Gerlach at Hayfield High School in the guise of the victim. Gerlach was arrested at the scene the next day.

He was released on bail when charged again Aug. 1, this time in Mower County, with 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree burglary for molesting a second victim over a period of eight or nine years. The abuse started at age 8, according to the complaint.

Gerlach was convicted Jan. 31 of three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and sentenced March 28 to 196 months — more than 16 years — in prison.