Former Rock County GOP official faces sex crime charges

 A former Rock County Republican Party official is stripped of his political position, as he faces five, felony sex crime charges.

53-year-old Wade Hallett of Janesville is in the Rock County jail, with his bail set at $50,000.

During last year's presidential campaign, Hallett was one of the faces of Rock County Republican politics.  As the county party's election committee chair, he played a key role in connection with then-candidate Donald Trump's visit to Janesville Mar. 28.

But court records state Hallett's private life during that campaign season included the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl over a period of months.  Records state a relative discovered what was happening last month, and notified Rock County Sheriff's deputies.

A probable cause affidavit says the victim and the relative "expressed extreme fear of Wade and retaliation against them for coming to law enforcement."

In a related restraining order case, a judge ordered Wade to surrender his weapons.  An inventory states the surrender included four rifles, three pistols and three shotguns.

Rock County Republican Party Chairman Andrew Iverson says the party cut its ties to Hallett last month.

"The moment our board became aware of these charges, our board acted immediately to remove Wade Hallett from his position," Iverson says.

Authorities say the charges against Hallett stem from both sexual assaults, and a semi-nude photo of the victim on Hallett's phone.

Hallett's attorney, Michael Murphy, has yet to respond to a request for comment from 27 News.

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