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Man pleads no contest to child sex assault charges

Published On: Jul 12 2013 03:17:00 PM CDT
James A. "Alex" Gillespie
MADISON, Wis. -

A Middleton man who is a former church music director has pleaded no contest to two counts of sexual assault of a child.

James A. "Alex" Gillespie, 48, of Middleton, appeared in Dane County Circuit Court Friday to enter the plea. A pre-sentencing investigation was ordered.

Middleton police said the victim, a 14-year-old boy, is the victim in another local sexual assault case involving a Mount Horeb police lieutenant living in Madison.

The boy's late nights at Gillespie's condo in the 5500 block of Century Avenue prompted neighbors to grow suspicious.

"They're concerned about young men, boys, in his apartment late at night, coming and going, and they expressed those concerns to us," said Capt. Charles Foulke, of the Middleton Police Department.

The criminal complaint said the victim told police, "Yeah, we did something." He went on to tell detectives that Gillespie performed oral sex on him on several occasions, according to the complaint.

Initially, the victim told investigators he was 18 years old.

The detective who contacted the victim said he appeared to be younger than 18.

"Eventually they brought him back to the Police Department and ran a Fast ID on him -- digital fingerprints. We learned he was 14 and that he was a runaway from the Beloit area," Foulke said.

The victim had been missing from his Beloit home since October 2012, Middleton police said.

The victim said he told Gillespie that he was 18 years old and that Gillespie never questioned him about his age, school or anything like that, according to the complaint.

Middleton police said they discovered the victim was the same boy found living with Dennis Jenks, a Mount Horeb police lieutenant, who is accused of sexually assaulting him.

Police said their investigation of Gillespie began in December and continues. Gillespie was fired from his position as music director at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Middleton.

Police said Gillespie met the 14-year-old victim on a social media phone app known as Growler.

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