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Colby man pleads not guilty to sex offense involving teen

A 27-year-old Colby man has pled not guilty to a felony sex charge filed earlier this year after he allegedly shared explicit photos and video of himself with a 17-year-old.

David A. Paul faces a single count of causing a child between the ages of 13 and 18 to view sexual activity, a Class H felony that carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison. He entered a plea of not guilty at a Nov. 20 hearing in Marathon County Circuit Court.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13 at the Wausau courthouse.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Marathon County Circuit Court on Aug. 8, the mother of the alleged 17-year-old victim first reported her suspicions to the Spencer Police Department in May of this year.

An investigation by the Spencer police uncovered a series of sexually explicit Facebook messages between Paul and the 17-year-old, starting in February of this year. Based on one of those exchanges, Paul knew the female party was still in high school and was under 18.

Between February and April, Paul allegedly sent multiple lewd photos and at least one video of himself. He also attempted to meet the teen in person, but that never happened.

According to the victim’s mother, her daughter met Paul at least once in person before the Facebook exchanges started.

Paul had been working as a custodian at Colby High School, but his alleged victim was not a student at the school, according to superintendent Steve Kolden.

Kolden suspended Paul on May 23 after police came to interview Paul about the accusations; his keys and school ID were taken at that time. He was fired on June 17 after district officials reviewed a report from Spencer police.