A Brookfield teenager is on probation after pleading guilty to one count of misdemeanor retail theft and one count of bail jumping, but more serious charges, including sexual assault, have been dropped.
William Hoffman, 17, pleaded guilty to retail theft and bail jumping charges at a plea and sentencing hearing May 15. Three other counts of retail theft were dismissed and read in. Judge Michael Aprahamian imposed and stayed a two-month jail sentence for the retail theft and a four-month sentence for the bail jumping.
Hoffman was first taken into custody in January after being charged with sexual assault, strangulation and having a knife with him while he attended Brookfield Central High School. A 17-year-old girl reported that Hoffman had raped her in the backseat of a car at Mary Knoll Park in December.
But the sexual assault and strangulation charges were dropped in April and the weapon charge was dismissed and read in in May.
Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper said the decision to drop the sexual assault and strangulation charges was based on the state not thinking it had enough of a case.
“Ultimately the resolution in this case was based on whether we could prove the charges at trial," Opper said. "After the case came in and we reviewed it further and met with the victim, decided that we would not be able to proceed with the charges. It was just a burden of proof issue and what we could prove in court. It was just that we did not have enough evidence.”
The retail theft and bail jumping charges stemmed from a second arrest of Hoffman in March while he was working as a cashier at Target, 12725 W. Bluemound Road. Police were called by a loss prevention officer who said he had observed Hoffman repeatedly conducting fraudulent transactions for his mother, according to court records.
During the transactions, Hoffman was observed on video surveillance neglecting to ring in some items and voiding others. In total, $269.59 worth of merchandise was stolen.
The bail jumping charge stemmed from Hoffman violating his bail not to commit any new criminal violations following his initial arrest.
Opper hoped the punishment helps Hoffman develop into a law-abiding citizen.
“I wouldn’t say this is a bad kid and we have to lock him up," Opper said. "Hopefully he’s learned from this. He’ll be supervised on probation here for awhile so hopefully that will help him mature and learn from this.”