La Crosse man charged with molesting 5-year-old

Kevin Zoerb

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — A La Crosse man was accused this week of two child-related sex crimes, one of which involved a 5-year-old.

Kevin C. Zoerb, 39, was charged in La Crosse County Circuit Court with first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 12 and possession of child pornography, both as a repeat offender.

According to the criminal complaint, the child told family members over the weekend that Zoerb had touched the child’s genitals and given the child a sex toy. Family members reported the incident to police and also noted the child’s genitals had been red recently. The family told police the child had become withdrawn and aggressive after the last time the child had been left alone with Zoerb, about one month ago on Sept. 27.

During an interview with a social worker, the child said, “He keeps having sex with me. I hate that,” according to the complaint.

Zoerb denied having sexual contact with the child; however, a search of his residence revealed children’s underwear and a sex toy matching the description the child gave to investigators, according to the criminal complaint.

The child pornography charge stems from a CyberTip received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Investigators received the tip in 2018 that an IP address was sharing child pornography and were able to trace the IP address through Charter to Zoerb’s home, according to the complaint. A forensic analysis of Zoerb’s computer found several child pornography images featuring very young children.

Zoerb was released on a $10,000 signature bond with conditions that he have no contact with the child or the child’s family, no contact with anyone under 18 and no possession of any device capable of accessing the internet except for the purposes of appearing in court and talking to his attorney.

Zoerb pled guilty in 2017 to three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior. He was sentenced to six months in the La Crosse County Jail and 18 months on probation.