A Poplar man who allegedly sexually assaulted a teenager he picked up in another Wisconsin county waived the time limits for his preliminary hearing at an appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday, July 21.

Gregg Eric Koepke, 56, faces one count of repeated sexual assault of a child. A cash bond of $15,000 was set for Koepke and he posted the funds July 16, according to online court records. As a condition of bail, Koepke was ordered to have no contact with the victim and no intentional contact with minors.

Koepke, who owns a trucking business, met the 14-year-old victim via a chat room app, according to the criminal complaint. He drove to the county where she lives to pick her up and brought her to his home in Poplar. She stayed at the home for several days, during which time Koepke is accused of sexually assaulting her multiple times.

The girl told detectives that several days after Koepke brought her to Poplar, he saw on the news that she had been reported as a runaway. He then said she was “too hot” to stay at his house and dropped her off at a truck stop outside Douglas County, according to the complaint.

Gregg Koepke (Photo courtesy of the Douglas County Jail)
Gregg Koepke (Photo courtesy of the Douglas County Jail)

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The victim was able to accurately describe Koepke’s Poplar residence to investigators, including the layout, furnishings and details about his pet.

During questioning, Detective Mike Miller with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office told Koepke he saw two possible scenarios: Either Koepke made a really bad mistake or he was a monster who preyed on kids. Koepke said he made a bad mistake and declined to answer further questions, according to the criminal complaint.

If convicted of the Class C felony, Koepke faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. His next court appearance, a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause for the charge, is scheduled for Aug. 18.

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