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Former pastor’s hearing set Sept. 29

Wisconsin investigator to testify

July 1, 2011
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer ( , The Journal

GAYLORD - A rural Dodge County, Wisconsin investigator is scheduled to testify at a Sept. 29 contested omnibus hearing for a former rural Gibbon Lutheran pastor facing two serious felony, third-degree criminal sex charges and two other felony charges involving a 16-year-old girl.

David E. Radtke, 52, the former pastor at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Moltke Township in rural Gibbon, appeared with Minneapolis attorney Paul Engh before Judge Thomas McCarthy at an omnibus hearing in Sibley County District Court Thursday.

Assistant Sibley County Attorney Donald Lannoye said he planned to call a Dodge County, Wisconsin investigator as a witness at a contested omnibus hearing set for 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29 in Sibley County District Court.

Lannoye said the defense has filed a motion to suppress Radtke's statements made to Dodge County, Wis. authorities in May and a motion to dismiss one of Radtke's 3rd degree criminal sex charges due to lack of probable cause.

A jury trial has been scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Jury selection starts at 8:30 a.m. in Sibley County District Court.

According to a Statement of Probable Cause, the Sibley County Sheriff's Department got a child maltreatment report involving Radtke and a 16-year-old girl on May 23.

The alleged victim said Radtke gave her back messages every two weeks or so between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. at his home and touched her under her underwear several times after she fell asleep on Radtke's living room couch, according to a joint report by the Sibley County Sheriff's Office and Sibley County Child Protection Services.

The alleged victim said that on May 22, Radtke approached her in his home, said he had touched her and asked for forgiveness, according to the complaint.

Radtke told a Sibley County Sheriff's Office investigator that the incident was not accidental, it was a lack of judgement and he would take full responsibility for what he had done, according to the complaint.

On May 23, Radtke left Minnesota to visit a church in Clyman, Wis., a small town northeast of Madison, where he was located and arrested by local law enforcement.

The Sibley County investigator photographed several text messages from Radtke's wife Diane's cell phone involving correspondence between the alleged victim and Radtke's wife, according to the complaint.

Within the text messages, the alleged victim wrote, "I just can't handle this. ...What happened is not legal in any place in the world..."

After driving to Minnesota and turning himself in - which were part of his release conditions - Radtke was charged with two felony third degree criminal sex charges on May 26 in Sibley County District Court. He was later released on $7,000 cash bail.

On June 20, Radtke was arrested and charged with felony interception of electronic communications plus harassment/stalking for offenses alleged to have taken place May 31 through June 3.

The alleged harassment/stalking charge "caused the alleged victim to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted or intimidated by following, monitoring or pursuing her through any available technological or other means," according to the complaint.

According to a Statement of Probable Cause, a Sibley County investigator met with the alleged victim and her father on June 16 regarding privacy invasion, based on her personal emails being illegally accessed and forwarded.

The alleged victim said that on May 25, she was riding with Steven Bruns to his home when he said her cell phone needed to be given to him so he could give it to the Sibley County Sheriff's Office, according to the complaint.

A short time later, Jill Bruns asked the alleged victim for her cell phone password/pin number, which she said was needed by police, according to the complaint.

The cell phone was never given to law enforcement. Instead, it was given to the Radtkes, according to the complaint.

The alleged victim said she was reviewing her email on June 15 and noticed 22 messages were forwarded to three Radtke email addresses.

The forwarded emails, photographed as evidence, displayed emails from relatives and friends that were accessed by her "old" cell phone now in the Radtke's possession, according to the complaint.

The alleged victim said she believed the Radtkes used her email to "fish" for information to use to discredit her at the pending sexual assault trial, according to the complaint.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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