Football players’ charges dismissed
September 1, 2004
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Two UW-Eau Claire football players were found guilty of disorderly conduct in August for their part in taking and distributing a pornographic photo via e-mail.
Sophomores Jacob Dettmer, 19, and Ryan Schulz, 19, were originally charged May 20 with Class I felony counts of possessing and distributing a recording of nudity. The charges carried a maximum penalty of three-and-a-half years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
According to the report filed with the Eau Claire Police Department, Dettmer had consensual sex March 4 with a female Eau Claire student in Towers Hall North. The woman said she believed Schulz, Dettmer’s roommate, was asleep in his lofted bed. While having sex, the woman saw a flash in the room. Dettmer told her his roommate often used a flashlight at night. A few days later, the woman learned that a nude photo of her having sex with Dettmer was being circulated on the Internet.
When she reported the incident, the woman told police she did not consent to having her picture taken or distributed.
Schulz said his participation in the incident was minimal and that he had been hesitant about taking the picture.
He said Dettmer gave him the camera and told him to take the photo. Later, Dettmer sent it via e-mail.
“I was asked to take a picture, that’s it,” Schulz said. “The photo was never once on my computer. I never touched the picture.”
Dettmer confirmed that he asked Schulz to take the photo. He also confirmed that he was the one who e-mailed it, although he did not remember how many people he sent the photo to. He said he did not change the picture from its original state; photos with spectators digitally added to the background were also distributed.
Coach Todd Hoffner said they will receive reduced playing time as a result of the incident. The decision was made in cooperation with the football team’s Unity Council, a group of senior football players, but the final call was his.
Both men will be living off campus this year, director of Housing and Residence Life Chuck Major said. Neither men were disciplined by Housing and Residence Life. The office was unaware the incident had occurred.
Dettmer and Schulz each will serve 120 hours of community service.
Schulz said now he is hoping to move on.
“I’m trying to get past this,” he said.
Dettmer also said he hopes to learn from what happened.
“I think we both took a hard life lesson,” he said. “It was obviously something that will never happen again and should not have happened to begin with.”