Former La Crosse man gets probation with conditions for theft of woman’s underwear, spying

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — A 31-year-old man accused of burglary and invasion of privacy for tapping into his neighbors’ bathroom pleaded guilty via Zoom Tuesday and was sentenced to 12 months’ probation.

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Robert J. Kautzman, who lived in La Crosse at the time of his arrest in June but now is listed as living in Milwaukee, was ordered not to have contact with the woman or her boyfriend in the case.

Judge Elliott Levine also ordered that Kautzman undergo mental health assessments and undergo any treatment recommended.

In June, Kautzman was accused of breaking into his neighbors’ home, stealing $80 worth of women’s underwear, drilling holes in walls between their homes and putting a cellphone in a bathroom light fixture to record audio.

The woman noticed that some underwear was missing but believed she had misplaced it somehow, according to the original complaint. A few days later, she noticed that the light fixture in her bathroom was out of place. Behind the fixture she found a cell phone that was recording audio.

Audio and videos on the phone proved it was Kautzman’s phone, the complaint said.

Kautzman walked into the home the woman shared with her boyfriend at 12:30 a.m. one day but left when she ordered him out, according to the complaint. The woman’s boyfriend confronted Kautzman, who admitted to the behavior, and the couple called the police.

Kautzman told police he “sometimes does things that are crazy.” He acknowledged snooping in the apartment, taking the woman’s underwear and leaving the phone.

Initially, he told police drilled the holes because he did not have heat in his apartment, then began using the holes to spy on his neighbor.

Levine withheld sentencing in assigning probation with the conditions. Kautzman also must pay court costs and fees of $518.

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