Western Wisconsin police chief charged with several counts of child abuse

A western Wisconsin police chief is facing multiple charges of child abuse, according to court documents filed in St. Croix County on Tuesday.

Court records show Aaron McWilliams, 41, faces nine counts of child abuse, three counts of causing mental harm to a child and six counts of physical abuse of a child with the intent to cause bodily harm. The incidents range from July 2015 to February 2020.

McWilliams is accused of hitting, kicking and verbally abusing four children over that timeframe. The children's ages range from 8 to 18 years old, according to the complaint. Four out of the five children who live at the residence have accused McWilliams of both physical and mental abuse.

Since the charges have been filed, McWilliams has been placed on administrative leave.

According to the complaint, detectives were asked to explore the case beginning on June 9. McWilliams and the children's mother, who is identified as "D.J." in the complaint, are married and have four kids in common, and she has two adult children of her own. The residence of the mother and children is located in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. McWilliams reportedly moved from that residence a few months ago.

Social workers proceeded to conduct interviews with each alleged victim. One victim stated that "everybody" has had bruises made by McWilliams. Aside from spankings, all victims summarized that McWilliams would slap, kick and, if a child wasn't listening, McWilliams allegedly would grab the children by the ear and "throw" them down the stairs, or put them in the garage. One victim noted McWilliams would often be "normally in the garage drinking" when he was home.

"D.J" confirmed to authorities that McWilliams would be mentally abusive to the children as well. One child has autism, and "D.J." said McWilliams has told the child to "go away," "go to your room," or referred to him as "Rain Man," among other things, according to the complaint.

One victim claimed that another child was McWilliams' favorite, while their mother gave them "an equal amount of love." That same victim also witnessed McWilliams knee one of his children in the gut while he was working. Much of the abuse has been described to happen when the mother is not around, according to the complaint.

Another child was reportedly kicked out of the home when the mother was not present. In an interview with that child, asking what the mother would do if McWilliams began to abuse the children, the victim said her mother would yell at him but he would ignore her and continue. She went on to say McWilliams "is the type of person who does what he wants to do."

Another child, 23, told authorities he was never disciplined because he "would always stay down" in his room "away from everyone else."

While McWilliams is on leave, the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office will help police the area that the police department in the Village of Roberts covers.