A former Colorado Springs financial manager previously accused of choking a teenage girl in a fit of jealousy is headed to trial on charges he coerced her into a sexual relationship after helping her family immigrate to the United States.
David Arthur Wismer III, 52, was scheduled for trial April 2 after pleading not guilty to 28 counts, including several felonies alleging a pattern of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. He was arraigned Oct. 30.
If convicted of the most serious charges against him, Wismer could face the equivalent of a life sentence in prison under Colorado's stringent sex offense laws. His attorney, Richard Bednarski, declined to comment.
Wismer was arrested in April on a variety of allegations including stalking and physical assaults. Prosecutors added the sex assault counts at a subsequent court appearance - alleging sexual abuse dating to October 2014, when the victim was less than 15 years old.
The case involves an Iranian girl who said she first came to know Wismer after he helped her, her mother and sister immigrate to the U.S. from Iran in 2012. He was a church friend of her father's and helped the family even after her parents split a year later, paying for a hotel stay and buying the mother a car to get to work, the girl told authorities.
A website for Wismer's now-shuttered financial management firm identifies him as a member of Vista Grande Baptist Church in Colorado Springs. A woman who answered the phone said church officials had no comment.
According to arrest papers, the girl described "a five-year history of physiological and physical abuse," during which Wismer transformed from a father figure into a jealous suitor, dunning her with phone calls, growing jealous of her teenage boyfriend, and stalking and assaulting her. Colorado Springs police arrested him in April after the girl said that he grabbed her by the neck and threw her into the wall twice before dropping her to the ground and kicking her.
Further details on the role Wismer played in assisting with the family's move to the U.S. weren't available.
Wismer, who worked for Boston-based LPL Financial and did business as Wismer Wealth Management Group, was fired in April after news of the criminal charges against him surfaced, said Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome. Wismer's termination meant he no longer was licensed to operate.
In August, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) took the additional step of barring him from associating with any brokerage, records show. FINRA is a nonprofit authorized by Congress to regulate the broker-dealer industry. The organization brings disciplinary action, levies fines and bars people from trading securities.
His clients' funds would all be held by LPL Financial, and Wismer would have no access to them upon termination, Rome said.
Wismer, who is free on $500,000 bond, is due to return to court Feb. 15 for a motions hearing.
Gazette reporter Wayne Heilman contributed to this story.