An Onalaska man and La Crosse man are arrested on child sex charges.
Robert J. Mattingley, 42, of La Crosse, and Michael Paul Connelly, 55, of Onalaska, were arrested Wednesday on charges of Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime and Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child.
Both men appeared in La Crosse County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon. A criminal complaint was only filed against Mattingley. Prosecutors said additional time is needed to file the paperwork for Connelly.
The men were released from jail on $5,000 signature bonds.
The criminal complaint against Mattingley stated that he began an online conversation through Craigslist with who he believed was a 14-year-old girl. Instead, it was Investigator Crystal Sedevie of the Holmen Police Department.
The online conversation turned sexual quickly, culminating with a meet set up for Wednesday afternoon in Holmen. When Mattingley arrived, the complaint said officers were there waiting for him. The complaint said he told investigators later that he'd gotten in over his head and had made a mistake.
Holmen Police Investigator Crystal Sedevie said the arrests were part of Operation New Hope in which 18 arrests, including the two here, occurred Wednesday around the state to crack down on child sex crimes and trafficking.
No future court dates were immediately set for Mattingley and Connelly.
Mattingley is also the outgoing president of the River City Youth Hockey organization in La Crosse.