Jeremy Ainsworth. (Courtesy Portage Co. Jail)

Man with six open felonies held on $25K cash following domestic incident

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Editor’s note: News articles about court hearings are just that — an article about a hearing. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until pronounced guilty in a court of law. The Metro Wire will follow each case to its conclusion, including reporting if charges were amended or dismissed. The Metro Wire does not remove verified stories from its website.

By Brandi Makuski

A Stevens Point man is behind bars on a $25,000 cash bond while awaiting formal charges related to a reported instance of violence in Pine Grove.

Jeremy R. Ainsworth, 44, appeared for his bond hearing on April 1 by video from the Portage Co. Jail with his attorney, Anne Renc from the public defender’s office, before Judge Michael Zell. Assistant District Attorney Kelly Cassidy represented the State.

According to the incident report, a woman contacted Portage Co. deputies at about 11 p.m. on March 29 to report she’d been assaulted earlier in the day at her home in Pine Grove.

The woman said Ainsworth, who she was dating, left her a threatening voicemail before arriving at her home at about 2 p.m. that day and reportedly forced his way into her home.

After he gained entry, Ainsworth held the woman down on her bed. At some point, she also grabbed her hair and “snapped her head back” causing pain and a cracking noise that made the woman briefly think her neck had been broken, the report said.

Afterward, he apologized, then attempted to have sexual contact with the woman, began choking her, and put his hand over her mouth when she screamed. The woman told deputies she thought she was going to die, Cassidy said. He also threatened the woman with a screwdriver, acting “as if he was going to stab her in the face,” the report said.

During the incident, he also allegedly threw a phone at her, striking her in the face, Cassidy said.

The woman said she got Ainsworth to leave the home by promising she wouldn’t report him to the police if he left.

The woman told deputies that she feared for her life and believed Ainsworth was going to kill her the next time he saw her, the report said.

Ainsworth was brought to the sheriff’s office the following day for an interview. He denied being at the woman’s home the day before, saying after returning from the grocery store at about noon, he never left his home.

But according to Cassidy, traffic camera footage and video surveillance from a nearby gas station show Ainsworth’s vehicle traveling in the direction of the woman’s home just before 2 p.m. and then leaving the area about an hour later.

As Ainsworth was being booked into jail, a K9 unit swept his vehicle. Following a positive indication from the dog, deputies found a pipe that tested positive for methamphetamine, and .1 grams of methamphetamine. Deputies also found the screwdriver in the car matching the description given by the woman, Cassidy said.

Court records show that Ainsworth has six open felony cases and was on bond in all of them at the time of his arrest, most drug-related and including 11 counts of felony bail-jumping. He also has several convictions related to retail theft, theft of movable property, drugs, and loitering.

Cassidy said Ainsworth faces charges of burglary, misdemeanor battery, strangulation/suffocation, second-degree sexual assault, and six counts of felony bail-jumping.

Cassidy requested a $25,000 cash bond with non-monetary conditions of no contact with the victim, that Ainsworth not possess controlled substances without a valid prescription, not possess drug paraphernalia, and that he participate in JusticePoint programming.

“A significant cash bail is necessary to protect the community, specifically the [victim], from further physical harm, and prevent further intimidation,” Cassidy said, adding that Ainsworth has a history of violating his bond. He’s also either missed or failed required drug tests, she said.

Renc sought a lower cash bond, saying her client was eligible for public defender services, and that he’s already provided her with the names of three possible alibi witnesses.

“So there’s obviously more investigation that needs to be done here,” Renc said.

Ainsworth also spoke at the hearing, telling the judge that deputies woke him up at 1 a.m. to bring him in for questioning, and saying that the woman who made the allegation was in a difficult stage in life. He claims he knew nothing about the incident and said he knew three people who could confirm he wasn’t at the woman’s home.

He returns to court on April 16 for an initial appearance.