KEVIN DEMET
DEMET LAW FIRM LLP

$5MM+ SEX CRIME SETTLEMENT

In 2004 a Lawsuit involving a sexual assault of two minors was settled for several million dollars, after several years of litigation.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Sex offender's lake property turned over to victims

But judge declines to mediate dispute among interested buyers of estate

By Lisa Sink
of the Journal Sentinel staff
Last Updated: Sept. 2, 1999

Waukesha - A judge Thursday turned over ownership of $1.6 million worth of Oconomowoc Lake property owned by a convicted sex offender and Schlitz brewing heir to the man's sex assault victims.

However, Circuit Judge Patrick Snyder refused to mediate a dispute about interested buyers, leaving that legal tangle in the lap of fellow Judge James Kieffer, who was assigned to a related lawsuit filed this week.

Snyder ordered Schiltz heir W. David Tallmadge's two properties, a lakefront parcel worth more than $1 million and a commercial frontage lot worth about $500,000, be given to a woman and a girl he was convicted of assaulting in California.

A host of attorneys crowded the courtroom Thursday, asking Snyder to disapprove the first offer for Tallmadge's lake property and allow the victims' attorneys to accept the highest offer.

Robert Felker, who made the first offer of $1,000,010 just hours after the lots went on the market this winter, filed a lawsuit Tuesday that was assigned to Kieffer. In his suit, Felker contended he has right of first refusal and the right to match any other offer.

There are five higher offers - one of which was about 25% higher - and as many as 38 buyers have expressed an interest, said attorney Kevin Demet, who represents a 9-year-old girl Tallmadge was convicted of molesting.

That girl and a second woman, now 21, won a $14.1 million judgment against Tallmadge after Tallmadge was convicted in June of 1997 of molesting the two at his former Pacific Palisades, Calif., home.

Tallmadge, 67, who has two prior sexual assault convictions, is serving a 265-year prison sentence for the California assaults. He sexually assaulted one girl when she was 4 and repeatedly molested a second girl from when she was 9 until she turned 14.

Tallmadge is the great-grandson of former Jos. Schiltz Brewing Co. President Henry Uihlein.

Tallmadge's local attorney, Jonathan Smith, asked Snyder to hold off on stripping Tallmadge of the real estate. Smith noted that although a California appeals court this summer upheld Tallmadge's convictions, he was asking the California Supreme Court to hear the case.

Snyder determined the likelihood of success on appeal was extremely remote. He said the "time was right" to liquidate Tallmadge's assets to compensate his victims.

Demet then asked Snyder to approve the sale of the real estate and to deny Felker's offer because there were higher bids.

Demet has noted that the lots' estimated $1.6 million value is only a small fraction of the $14.1 million he owes the two victims, and after older liens, attorneys fees and other costs are lopped off the land sales the victims will still be owed millions of dollars.

Snyder said his job was simply to transfer ownership of the land from Tallmadge to the victims and they could sell the property as they wished.

Felker's attorney has cried foul, saying a receiver Snyder appointed and allowed to list the lots for sale this winter accepted Felker's offer in a legally binding contract.

The contract presented by receiver Janet Matt indicated the sale was contingent on approval by the court. Snyder said Thursday that was false and that he did not have authority to approve any sale.

 

Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sept. 3, 1999.

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