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De Pere man opts for judge to decide fate in child abuse cases

Donald Windey. Photo: Brown County Jail
Donald Windey. Photo: Brown County Jail(WBAY)
Published: Dec. 17, 2019 at 5:44 PM CST
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UPDATE 12/18:

A De Pere man charged with abusing his adopted children has chosen to have a judge weigh the evidence and decide his fate.

Donald Windey, 53, appeared in Brown County Court Wednesday for a motion hearing. Windey requested a court trial. That means a judge will decide a verdict instead of a jury.

The court will hear two cases against Windey--one alleging he physically and mentally abused his adopted children and one alleging he repeatedly sexually assaulted children.

Windey's wife, Sharon, is awaiting sentencing after a jury found her guilty of eight of 12 counts, including Child Abuse-Intentionally Cause Harm (three counts); Causing Mental Harm to a Child (four counts), and Strangulation and Suffocation (one count).

for coverage of the verdict.

In February of 2018, De Pere Police assigned a sergeant to investigate reports of possible abuse at the De Pere home where the children lived with the Windeys.

Investigators interviewed three adopted children--a girl aged 15; a girl aged 14; and a boy aged 15.

The kids described being punched, choked, spanked, thrown against a wall, hair pulling, food punishment and exercise punishment.

In 2019, prosecutors filed three counts of Repeated Sexual Assault of Same Child against Donald Windey. A probably cause statement alleges the sex abuse happened between 2006 and 2016.

In a criminal complaint filed against Donald Windey in 2018, underage victims stated Donald would rub their legs and touch them inappropriately. They said he would also make them kiss him and make them sit on his lap. One victim said he would have "kissing sessions" with her. At random times Windey would make the victims take off their clothes, according to the complaint.

Donald Windey's court trial for the charges of physical and mental abuse starts Jan. 6. It is scheduled to last five days.

The court trial for the sexual abuse charges is also scheduled for Jan. 6.

Sharon Windey's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 13.

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INITIAL REPORT

A De Pere man charged with abusing his adopted children is requesting a change of venue.

The jury trial against 53-year-old Donald Windey is currently scheduled to begin next month in Brown County court.

A judge can decide to move the trial to another county, select jurors from another county, or deny the request.

Last month, a jury convicted Windey's wife, Sharon Windey, on 8 of 12 counts in her child abuse case (

). She's scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Their biological son, Steven Windey, is also charged. He has a plea hearing in February.