Due to the perseverance of Franklin police, a woman who was sexually assaulted inside her Franklin apartment in 2006 is finally seeing her attacker face justice.
Tim Tse, 31, pleaded guilty Oct. 17 to committing the crime and now awaits sentencing Dec. 6.
Tse was charged with second-degree sexual assualt and burglary in 2006, but he eluded punishment by posting bail and fleeing to his native Hong Kong before his trial, Franklin police said. He was in the U.S. on a student visa, studying for a master's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Franklin detectives have worked ever since to bring Tse back to Wisconsin to face prosecution.
"We've been pursuing this since day one," Franklin Police Capt. Joseph Spak said.
Fear was alleged intent
According to the 2006 criminal complaint and Franklin Police Department police reports:
The attack occurred in the woman's apartment in the 6900 block of South Riverwood Boulevard between Nov. 4 and 5, 2006. The victim, who was 26 at the time, told police she was sleeping in her bed when a man placed a rag containing some sort of chemical over her mouth, hit her and choked her several times. He pulled off her pajama bottoms and underwear and fondled her underneath her pajama top.
The woman told police that during this time she saw flashes, which led her to believe the man was taking pictures of her while she was partly nude.
The man then took her into the bathroom and placed her in the shower, where he tied her up, placed a towel over her face and attempted to force a pill down her throat. She spit the pill into the shower when she heard the man leave the room, and when he returned he dragged her by her shoulders and hair back into the bedroom, where he left her lying on the floor.
The victim stated that she was lightheaded and dizzy, and went in and out of consciousness several times during the attack.
After the man left her bedroom, the woman grabbed her cellphone and dialed 911. Officers found the woman lying on her bedroom floor, shaking uncontrollably, with a towel covering the bottom portion of her body. The Franklin Fire Department took her to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.
About a week after the incident, police received a call from the victim's boyfriend, who stated that Tse had just confessed to attacking the woman.
"I guess he was feeling some pangs of guilt after the attack," Spak said, "so he decided to tell the victim's boyfriend, who then called us."
When questioned by police, Tse, who was dating the victim's roommate at the time, told officers he was angry at the victim for a variety of reasons that he never explained and planned the attack out of revenge, according to the criminal complaint. He stated he wanted to take pictures of the victim without her clothes on and post them on the Internet to humiliate her.
Franklin detectives later searched Tse's home in the 1600 block of North Prospect Avenue in Milwaukee, where they seized all computers, hard drives, monitors, storage disks, CDs and DVDs, along with any cameras or chemicals. However, police never found any pictures or video of the victim, police reports state.
"He never actually posted the pictures on the Internet, or did anything else with them," Spak said. "To our knowledge he destroyed the camera, and all the photos along with it."
Tse admitted to entering the woman's home using her roommate's key, and using a chemical-soaked rag to render her unconscious. He also admitted to groping the victim because he wanted to scare her and "make her believe she was going to be sexually assaulted," and to taking pictures of her in various stages of undress, according to the complaint.
It goes on to state that Tse told police he stole several items before leaving the apartment because he believed it would be better for him if he made the incident look more like a burglary.
Fleeing the country
After giving his statement, Tse was arrested and taken into custody. He was charged with second-degree sexual assault and burglary on Nov. 13, 2006, and made his initial court appearance on Nov. 14, 2006, where he was found to be indigent. The judge set bail at $100,000 cash, and his preliminary hearing was scheduled for Nov. 21, 2006.
However, Tse failed to appear at the preliminary hearing and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Detective Randy Olewinski immediately drove to Tse's residence, but Tse was not there.
Tse's girlfriend told Olewinski that Tse's parents had wired $100,000 on Nov. 16, 2006, and she had posted his bail the same day, the police reports state.
Olewinski contacted Edward Rooney, the assistant federal security director of law enforcement for the Transportation Security Administration, who later confirmed that Tse had boarded a United flight to Hong Kong at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Nov. 19, 2006, it states.
For the next six years, Franklin police worked with the State Department and other government agencies to get Tse extradited back to Wisconsin to face prosecution.
"Our department worked constantly with the State Department to figure out how to locate him (Tse) and get him back," Spak said. "It does take a long time."
Finally, on Jan. 17, 2013, Franklin police learned that Tse had been taken into custody by Chinese authorities. He was arrested at a border crossing while he was traveling to China from Hong Kong.
Ends with plea deal
On May 13, 2013, Tse was successfully extradited from Hong Kong and delivered to the custody of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. During a hearing May 15, the judge set bail at $5 million cash and ordered that Tse be fitted for electronic GPS monitoring. The judge also ordered that a hearing was to be held before bail could be posted, and that Tse surrender his passport and remain in Milwaukee County once bail was posted.
Tse and/or his defense attorney appeared in court four times between May 29 and July 12. Both sides rested their case to await a final decision from the court, which was scheduled for Oct. 11.
On Oct. 3, Tse's attorney sought a plea agreement. After the attorneys agreed on the terms of the plea deal, the victim, who no longer lives in Franklin, was contacted. After receiving the victim's consent, a plea agreement was reached.
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