David T. Hanke – Photo: Washington County Sheriff
Jan. 11, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Charges were officially handed down today in Washington County Circuit Court as former Slinger High School band director David T. Hanke, 66, (photo left) was charged with a Class D Felony for alleged sexual assault of a student by school staff. If convicted Hanke faces up to $10,000 in fines, up to 10 years in prison, or both.
Hanke appeared in court Wednesday afternoon before Judge James Pouros.
Hanke had a court appearance for a bail/bond hearing before Washington County Judge Andrew Gonring on Dec. 14, 2016 at which time a $3,000 signature bond was signed and Hanke was told to have “no unsupervised contact with females under age of 16. No contact with HLB or RAS.”
The criminal complaint was filed by a former Slinger High School student who was under 18 years old when the alleged assault occurred around September 1999 or 2000. The complaint said the girl was a band student in Hanke’s class. She recalled going to his house, drinking a beer and then going to the basement of the home where a back massage turned to “grabbing and groping.”
In 2004 – 2005 the complaint said the woman wrote an anonymous letter to the school but did not want to disclose the incident. In 2016 she reportedly wrote another signed letter to the principal at Slinger High School and he turned it over to authorities.
“We’re very troubled by the news about our former colleague and we have tremendous compassion and sadness for what the alleged victim went through in this circumstance,” said Slinger High School Superintendent Daren Sievers.
“We will be fully supportive and cooperative of all aspects of this investigation and the pending charges and it’s disappointing to see Slinger School District attached to this type of accusation.”
Sievers said the school district is “prepared to be supportive to anything connected to these accusations.”
“We need parents to trust that these accusations are very much isolated to the year 2000,” said Sievers. “We’re doing everything we can every day to provide a top educational experience and a safe educational experience for their kids.”
Sievers also stressed “it’s important for parents to talk very openly about what they’re experiencing in school so they know what they’re feeling and experiencing.”
Hanke retired in June 2012 after a 37-year career in the Slinger School District. Sievers described him as a “valued member and a high-performing band teacher with quality programming for kids.”
Sievers said, “Our heart goes out to the victim until we know more.”
Hanke was ordered to return to court on January 30, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.