Gunnar Zurek mug


A former Elk Mound man serving prison time for the 2014 crash death of an 18-year-old woman is heading toward a jury trial in Dunn County this month, on charges of sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl.

Gunnar D. Zurek, 23, is charged with repeated sexual assault of the same child.

Zurek’s three-day trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday, May 15.

According to a criminal complaint, Zurek is accused of sexually assaulting a then-six-year-old girl repeatedly during several months in 2008 and 2009 at a town of Colfax residence.

Zurek is accused of touching the girl sexually, forcing the girl to touch him sexually and holding the girl down when she objected.

Zurek threatened to hurt the girl if she told anyone, according to the complaint.

He denied the accusations to law enforcement.

Court records list Zurek’s address as the Racine Youth Correctional Facility.

Zurek, then 19, was charged after he crashed his vehicle in the town of Tainter on Sep. 23, 2014.

His girlfriend, 18-year-old Vannessa N. Marsh, was killed in the crash. Zurek and a passenger, Joseph E. Thalacker of Augusta, were injured.

After pleading guilty in 2015 to three felonies — homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, knowingly operating while suspended (cause great bodily harm) and knowingly operated while suspended (cause death) — Zurek was sentenced to six and a half years in prison and ten and a half years of extended supervision.

During his supervision, Zurek was also ordered to serve one day in the county jail every Sept. 23, the anniversary of Marsh’s death.

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