ROBERTS, Wis. -- Police Chief Aaron W. McWilliams has been charged with nine counts of felony child abuse.

The 41-year-old Somerset resident faces six felony counts of child abuse causing intentional harm and three felony counts of causing mental harm to a child.

A call to Roberts Village Board president for the status of McWilliams’s employment was not immediately returned.

Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation that resulted in the charges. The nine charges stem from incidents ranging from July 2015 through February 2020 in the town of Somerset.

According to the criminal complaint:

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Four juveniles known to McWilliams are the victims of alleged physical and mental abuse.

During interviews beginning June 11, the victims as well as witnesses reported physical and verbal abuse from the defendant, including hitting that left marks. All four victims expressed fear of McWilliams.

A preliminary court hearing for McWilliams was scheduled for Thursday, June 25.

Resources available

St. Croix County provides child protection assessment and services. If any one has concerns about the well being or safety of a child they can contact the Children Services Access Line at 715-246-8260 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 911 if it is an emergency or after normal business hours.

Turningpoint in River Falls offers support to survivors of abuse. Help can be found by calling 715-425-6751, or contacting the 24-hour crisis line at 800-345-5104.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Child Abuse and Neglect Report for 2018 found there were 4,971 child victims of mistreatment in the state.