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Woman charged in alleged blackmail scheme

8-24-2006 Wisconsin:

.An arrest warrant has been issued for a Chilton woman who allegedly tried to get her ex-husband to pay her $10,000 or she would tell his boss he was a convicted sex offender. A criminal complaint and warrant with a $1,000 cash bond were filed Friday in Outagamie County Circuit Court against Sherri K. Gebhart, 47, 451 Saratoga St., charging her with one count of threatening to communicate derogatory information. The charge is a felony with a maximum penalty of 18 months prison and two years of extended supervision.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman called her ex-husband, Duane Gebhart, 43, on several occasions between Aug. 9 and Aug. 16 at his Appleton workplace. She demanded $10,000 "or she was going to start contacting his clients at work about his sexual assault conviction."

According to the online Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry, Duane Gebhart, of Sherwood, was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child in Calumet County in 1996. During one of those calls the ex-husband put her on speaker phone so the secretary could hear her demands.

During that call he allegedly told her he would not pay the money. She allegedly responded, "You know what this means, right?" Within a few minutes she called her ex-husband's boss and reiterated her claim for $10,000 or she would tell the company's clients about her ex-husband's conviction. She said if they didn't assist her in getting the money "there would be trouble for the business."

The ex-husband contacted his probation agent, who contacted Sherri Gebhart and she allegedly admitted to the scheme. She allegedly told the agent if her ex-husband paid the money "she'd walk away and there would be no problems." ..more.. : by The Post-Crescent

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