Police in Appleton, Wis., say they caught 40-year-old Kirk B. Chapman on tape admitting to sexually abusing a young teenage neighbor in Appleton back in 2003.
Documents filed in support of a felony charge of repeated sexual abuse of a minor in Wisconsin’s Circuit Court system say Chapman made the admissions in a May 5 conversation with the former teen that was supervised by police. Chapman was arrested the following day and is now being held on a $100,000 bond in the Outagamie County jail.
Because of the new case, an unrelated third-degree sexual assault charge in Park County — which alleges Chapman used his position of authority as a then-Powell police officer to get a woman to submit to sexual contact in 2011 — has been placed on hold. A much-delayed trial had been set to start June 16.
Appleton Police Cpt. Todd Freeman told the Tribune that the woman reported the decade-old allegations in Wisconsin after reading about the charge pending against Chapman in Wyoming.
The now 24-year-old woman told a Green Bay, Wis.,-area TV station, WFRV, that she came forward because she wanted other rape victims to know that if they speak up, justice can be served. The woman was identified by name by the TV station but the Tribune is not doing so at this point.
“What had happened to me had nothing to do with me and has everything to do with him and the fact that he has a problem,” she told WFRV in an on-camera interview last week.
Chapman is accused of having sexual intercourse with the girl between June and October 2003, when she was 13 and 14, says an affidavit from Appleton police filed in support of the charge.
During the summer of 2003, Chapman led a group of neighbors in training for a marathon, and began giving the girl rides to and from the YMCA, she told police this year.
It was on the way back from the YMCA that the first sexual assault occurred, and that was repeated on later trips from the recreation center and at the girl’s home, she reportedly told police. That included an instance where Chapman had gone to her home under the auspices of checking on her while her parents were away, she told police.
Chapman told her not to tell anyone about their sexual contact, the woman told police, and she felt telling anyone would ruin the dynamics of the closely knit neighborhood.
Appleton police began their investigation in February, Freeman said, when the woman reported the allegations.
On May 5, the department had her place a recorded phone call to Chapman.
At one point, the affidavit says, the woman asked Chapman if he remembered how many times the two had sex. He said two or three times, though when the woman said it was a minimum of 10 times, Chapman responded that it could have been a dozen.
“It was a brief moment that took place. It was not like it went on for years,” Chapman allegedly said.
Chapman said it never happened with anyone else, that it was dumb and that he had tried to forget it, the affidavit alleges. When she asked him why he had sex with a 13-year-old, Chapman responded that he didn’t know, the affidavit says.
“I felt someone cared for me. I don’t know why I did that,” Chapman is alleged to have said in the recorded call. “I was going through a depression and the connection made me feel good.”
A hearing to determine whether Chapman qualifies for a court-appointed attorney is set for Thursday in the circuit court in Appleton.
Chapman, a 1992 Powell High School graduate, served with the Powell Police Department from 2007 until the Powell woman accused him of unwanted sexual touching and rubbing in September 2011. Chapman was suspended while the department investigated the woman’s report, and he resigned without ever returning to duty, Police Chief Roy Eckerdt has said. Chapman has denied any wrongdoing in that case.