Reeseville Man Charged With Child Neglect Enters Not Guilty Plea

(Reeseville) A Reeseville man accused of raising an infant in a drug house was arraigned Wednesday. 27-year-old Matthew Hansen entered a not guilty plea to a felony count of Neglecting a Child. 21-year-old Sara Schimmel is facing the same felony charge for her alleged role and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for January 2nd.

In March, a Dodge County Sheriff’s deputy was sent to the couple’s Reeseville apartment after a doctor reported possible child abuse. According to the criminal complaint, tests on the child’s umbilical cord returned a positive result for cocaine. The doctor allegedly said that Schimmel admitted to using cocaine while she was pregnant.

The deputy found no drugs and enough food and supplies for the baby during the welfare check. Hansen reportedly told the deputy he never used drugs in his life.

Two months later, two intruders broke into Hansen and Schimmel’s apartment while they were home with the baby. Hansen was shot in near proximity to the child. He reportedly told investigators (quote) “he was fearful” and that his child “was in direct line to where the shooter was.” When questioned, the couple allegedly admitted to Hansen’s routine drug dealings from the apartment.

Child Protective Services investigated the matter and determined that the baby was not harmed or in need of being removed from the home. Authorities still filed charges, citing that both Hansen and Schimmel (quote) “failed to provide the protection from exposure to the disturbance and manufacture of controlled substances and drug abuse” and that “natural and probable consequences of this exposure would be harm although the harm may not have actually occurred.” If convicted, the charge carries a maximum three-and-a-half year prison sentence.