Madison man sentenced for damage to Hodag statue; Restituion, community service ordered
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A second person charged for last December’s vandalism to the Hodag statue outside the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce building has been sentenced in Oneida County Circuit Court.
Evan R. Christiansen, 31, of Madison, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement after pleading no contest Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property.
As part of his sentence, Christiansen was ordered by Judge Michael H. Bloom to perform 20 hours of community service and make restitution payments, as determined by the Chamber of Commerce, along with the co-defendant in the case, Jordan G. Henk, 27, of Rhinelander, who received a similar sentence March 29 on a criminal damage to property charge.
Henk and Christiansen were accused of damaging the statue and removing four of the Hodag’s claws, all of which were recovered.
The four claws were noticed missing from the statue Dec. 16. According to a Rhinelander police report, during the course of the investigation into the incident Detective Brian Zohimsky received a tip from someone in the community, and was eventually able to identify a residence where a possible suspect was known to live.
Zohimsky reportedly arrived at the residence and knocked on the door, which opened on its own, revealing in plain sight what Zohimsky believed was a claw from the Hodag statue. The door was closed, a tenant arrived, the claw was retrieved and more information gathered.
According to the report, once Henk learned that police knew his identity and that he could face charges, he contacted Zohimsky.
Henk admitted to using marijuana, drinking alcohol and the subsequent damage to the statue and theft of the claws with Christiansen, who also admitted to using marijuana and alcohol and damage to the statue and theft of the claws.