Elkhorn man charged with bigamy, sexual assault

By Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Sept. 27, 2006, 3:55 p.m.)

A Walworth County man authorities say is married to two women is suspected of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

Brent S. Watling, 45, of 6860 N. Lake Drive, Elkhorn, is accused of sex acts with a 14-year-old girl outside a tavern in the town of Whitewater and at another man's home within the last month, according to a criminal complaint.

On Sept. 14, the day the girl reported her allegations to police, Watling was charged by the district attorney's office with bigamy by cohabitation.

Watling was arrested Sept. 10 on a drunken-driving charge. He also was wanted for battery and disorderly conduct in connection with a Sept. 9 incident involving Marilee Watling, his wife.

Brent Watling indicated on jail intake papers that his emergency contact person was Pamela Watling, whom he identified as his sister. But when a deputy called her, authorities learned she and Brent Watling were married, according to the criminal complaint.

Pamela Watling claimed she and Brent Watling were married in Washington in 1999. She said he left her six or seven years ago and never returned, according to a criminal complaint. The two never divorced.

Pamela Watling still is in Washington. Brent and Marilee Watling live in the town of Sugar Creek north of Elkhorn.

Brent Watling faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted of sexual assault, bigamy, disorderly conduct and battery. He also has pending traffic tickets for driving while intoxicated and operating with a revoked license, according to online court records.

A preliminary hearing for the felony cases is set for Wednesday, Oct. 11.

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