MILWAUKEE -- A man accused of sexually assaulting a teen at gunpoint is now charged with perjury and bail jumping.
Prosecutors say Jermarro Dantzler, 37, tried to get others to testify with a false alibi -- one that took Dantzler away from the scene where the 15-year-old boy was raped in July 2015. On Tuesday, May 24th, Dantzler was appointed a public defender in the perjury case.
Dantzler had been running a group home for troubled boys. He was appealing a state decision to revoke his license -- when the sexual assault allegation came to light. FOX6 News has been investigating the group home's history -- and found a long list of serious complaints that go back years.
For about six years, Dantzler ran the "Rights of Passage" group home out of a house on Milwaukee's northwest side.
Wisconsin's Department of Children and Families (DCF) removed the teenage residents after Dantzler's arrest for the alleged sexual assault of the 15-year-old boy.
"The source of the DNA that was found on the victim was Jermarro Dantzler's specifically," said Amy Koeppel, Brown Deer police sergeant.
It turns out, DCF had been getting complaints for years about "Rights of Passage."
FOX6 News went to Madison and reviewed dozens of documents through an open records request. Here's what we found:
- In 2010, Dantzler was fined for secretly paying a resident's sister to keep the boy at her apartment.
- In early 2011, Dantzler got a 'non-compliance statement' over 'failed oversight by the group home manager.'
- One month later, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin called a case worker. A boy was discharged after being seen -- no one was there to pick him up. 'The group home left no contact information...they did not event wait,' read the complaint from a case worker filed on March 28, 2011.
- Less than two months later, DCF received allegations of abuse and neglect on May 3rd and May 5th.
- On May 7th, Milwaukee police investigated a burglary at the group home. Two computers and other property were stolen. DCR concluded there were 'conflicting stories' and because 'records were stolen, there is nothing for this licensor to review.' No further action was taken. Milwaukee police say no one was ever arrested for the burglary.
A DCF spokesman says the agency took "took aggressive action to address issues that were discovered about the facility."
"These penalties ranged from issuing non-compliance statements to imposing fines," said DCF spokesman Joe Scialfa.
DCF moved to revoke Dantzler's license in April 2015 over "unallowable expenditures." But the home remained open as Dantzler appealed. During that time, the alleged sexual assault occurred. A review of the home's financial documents revealed multiple red flags, including past due notices for the water bill and billing statements from payday lenders with an interest rate of 250%.
Dantzler now awaits trial for that -- and the new perjury charge stemming from it.
The sexual assault trial is scheduled to begin in June. DCF tells FOX6 News that despite the financial issues, Dantzler was able to pay back the nearly $27,000 worth of fines his group home received.