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‘Moment of weakness:’ Sheboygan mental health specialist accused of sexually assaulting patient

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Andrew Schmaling

SHEBOYGAN COUNTY — A Two Rivers man who told investigators he was going through “police schooling” is accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was a patient at the mental health facility where the man worked. It happened outside the facility, after the victim asked for a ride to work.

Andrew Schmaling, 26, faces one count of second degree sexual assault.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim in this case told police she lived at a sober living facility that deals with mental health, and Schmaling was a mental health specialist at the facility.

The victim said about a week before the assault, Schmaling sent text messages to her and made comments to her at the facility. She told police their relationship was “a friendship that became inappropriate.” According to the complaint, on Feb. 12, she said she didn’t have a ride to work, and asked staff at the facility for a ride. Schmaling agreed to take her — but didn’t follow the directions she gave him — telling her “they could drive around since she was not scheduled to start work for an hour.” She said he parked at the end of South Pier Drive, and “began to pressure her to have sex with him.”

The complaint said Schmaling told the victim “people would believe his story because he was an active law enforcement recruit at Lakeshore Technical College — and they would not believe her because she was a junkie.” She said despite telling Schmaling “no,” he got into the back seat and sexually assaulted her. The victim said Schmaling “told her not to tell anyone and that he did not want to get fired or have what occurred (expletive) up his police schooling.”

The victim told police she did not report the incident immediately because she had been assaulted before, and when she told family, they “did not believe her” and “since nothing had been done in the past, she did not feel like anything would happen now.”

The complaint said police spoke with a specialist at the facility who said she received a phone call from Schmaling, who said he had “a moment of weakness” — and he and the victim had sex. He said he “felt (the victim) was going to try to set him up to get him in trouble.”

A supervisor at the facility said the victim told him “Schmaling was pressuring her to have sex,” and she told the supervisor about the Feb. 12 incident — telling him it was not consensual. He said Schmaling called him and apologized for what occurred. The supervisor said he informed Schmaling that he would be placing him on administrative leave. He learned Schmaling was on I-43, and when he asked Schmaling if he was OK, Schmaling said “no” and the line went dead. When he called back later, Schmaling “told him that he had intentionally crashed his vehicle into the ditch because he wanted to kill himself.” The crash happened in Manitowoc County. Schmaling was taken to the hospital for commitment due to suicidal thoughts.

The complaint said when speaking with investigators, Schmaling confirmed he was a mental health specialist at the facility and admitted to giving the victim a ride to work and taking her to South Pier Drive. He said it was the victim’s suggestion that they have sex — which he admitted to doing, telling investigators it was consensual.

The complaint noted the supervisor said all employees at the facility go through training and are made “well aware” that any relationship with a patient would be illegal.

Schmaling made his initial appearance in court on Wednesday, Feb. 20. A preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 27. Cash bond was set at $30,000.

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