The Three Lakes man accused of secretly videotaping a nude college student staying at his house has resigned from the county government positions he held for years.
Elmer Goetsch, 81, resigned Friday from the Oneida County Board of Adjustment and the county's Library Board. He is charged with capturing an image of nudity without consent and reproducing a representation of nudity without consent.
Each felony charge carries a maximum penalty of three years, six months in prison and $10,000 in fines. A preliminary hearing in Oneida County Circuit Court is set for July 16.
According to a criminal complaint filed June 14, Goetsch secretly videotaped two male students - one from the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the other from St. Norbert College - who were staying in the area as interns helping the Three Lakes Waterfront Association with a Clean Boats/Clean Waters initiative.
According to the complaint, the Oshkosh intern called police June 12 after hearing an odd noise in Goetsch's home.
The student said he followed the sound to Goetsch's bedroom where he saw a picture of his bedroom on a television screen. He then returned to his bedroom and found what he believed to be a camera between a sink and a mirror.
He also discovered a box with labeled buttons indicating a camera was set up in a bathroom and in a second bedroom, where the other intern stayed.
A subsequent police search of Goetsch's home resulted in the discovery of three pinhole cameras and a videotape that contained nude images of the Oshkosh intern.
According to county attorney Brian Desmond, Goetsch's letter of resignation arrived Friday. The two committees he served on are searching for prospective replacements.
"For the Board of Adjustment, they have statutes that dictate how many people need to be on the board, so they have to find a replacement for him, and I believe the Zoning Department is actively assisting the county board chairman in finding a replacement," Desmond said.
Replacements must be approved by the county board.
The interns were participating in a summer education program through UW-Oshkosh. Working with the waterfront association, they checked boats entering and leaving lakes for invasive plant species.
Association President Ed Jacobson said last week that the group has employed summer interns before, but they usually stayed together in a house in Plum Lake. This is the first year they stayed at a private residence, he said. Goetsch, apparently, volunteered to house the interns.
Alex Hummel, director of news services and public relations for UW-Oshkosh, said the school will review its placement procedures for interns in the wake of the Three Lakes incident. He said the school did a background check on Goetsch, but found nothing that raised concerns.
"I think we are always making an effort to do our best to vet the housing providers we turn to ... and make sure that they are safe and to make sure that they are good partners," Hummel said. "Everybody can always continue to beef up their efforts in that way and just make sure that students have a safe environment to stay in to continue on with their summer research."
He added that UW-Oshkosh immediately found a new place for the students to stay.
"Student safety was at the forefront, so they left the house and we provided alternative housing ... so they could continue on with their work through the summer program," Hummel said
It's not clear whether they'll complete their internships locally.
"We reached out to both students to let them know that it was not required that they stick around and continue with the job," Hummel said. "They were given the option to take some time off if they felt that they wanted to. We supported them instantly."
Marcus Nesemann may be reached at email@example.com.