A Wisconsin court heard Wednesday that Sterling Rachwal is facing charges in Brown and Manitowoc counties.
Sterling Rachwal appeared at a probable cause hearing this afternoon. The prosecution presented evidence that he allegedly sexually attacked a horse in February 2017. A boarding stable owner found the gelding tied, bleeding from the rectum. The horse survived.
The court listened to how a man believed to be Rachwal, dressed in a plaid, fled the property. Witnesses reported seeing a red Ford Explorer in the area, similar to the one driven by Rachwal. Deputies interviewed Rachwal and his alibi didn’t hold up.
Brown County is holding Rachwal on five misdemeanor counts including burglary, mistreatment of animals causing death, and sexual gratification with an animal.
Authorities planted a GPS device on Rachwal’s vehicle which led them to discover a barn in Manitowoc County. The property owner gave deputies permission to install cameras. They obtained evidence that allegedly shows Rachwal molesting a horse multiple times.
The court set Rachwal’s bond at $5000 cash.
Authorities haven’t filed charges in Manitowoc County.
Rachwal in jail
Wisconsin authorities have arrested a man with a history of abusing animals sexually.
Brown County Sheriff deputies arrested Sterling Rachwal, 53, for burglary, two counts of mistreatment of animals causing death, and two counts of sexual gratification with an animal.
Prosecutors have not filed charges.
The Green Bay man’s history of sneaking into horse barns for his alleged sexual gratification reportedly goes back to the 80’s.
A judge sentenced Rachwal to 14-years in prison in late 1993. A veterinarian euthanized the three horses victimized in that attack due to their injuries.
Rachwal pleaded no contest to three charges in Monroe County. They included mistreatment of animals causing death, sexual gratification with an animal, and intentional mistreatment of animals.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Rachwal’s conviction and remanded the case back to the lower court for trial after he appealed. A judge sentenced Rachwal to mental health treatment in an institution after he was found not guilty by reason of mental defect at trial.
A neighboring couple accused Rachwal of raping their pregnant Arabian mare in Waupaca County while he awaited trial in Monroe County. The mare survived. Prosecutors charged him with six counts, including mistreatment of animals and two counts of burglary. The court committed Rachwal after he was found not guilty due to a mental defect.
Rachwal relocated to Fond du Lac after his release from the mental institution in 2008. A horse owner discovered him in their barn later that year allegedly wearing latex gloves. The crime landed him a sentence of 90 days in jail.
Rachwal continues to go through the revolving door of the mental health system. His most recent release was in 2015.
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