A former Colorado Springs financial adviser and convicted sex offender is headed to prison after violating his 2018 probation by making repeated contact with a woman he admitted sexually assaulting when she was a teenager.
David Arthur Wismer III was resentenced Monday to four years to life in prison — an indeterminate sentence that could keep him behind bars for as long as the rest of his life. He is being held at the El Paso County jail pending his transfer to the Colorado Department of Corrections, jail records show.
Under Colorado’s stringent sentencing laws, sex offenders can be held beyond their court-ordered maximum terms until prison officials deem them safe for release.
The new sentence was imposed by 4th Judicial District Judge Robert Lowrey after Wismer, 55, pleaded guilty to violating his probation, admitting that he had spoken to the victim by phone more than 100 times during a 10-month span in 2019 despite a prohibition on having contact with her. He had faced an indeterminate term of 2 to 4 years in prison, and prosecutors requested the maximum.
“The level of deceit was such that I don’t think we could have ignored that,” prosecutor Matt Roche said.
Richard Bednarski, an attorney for Wismer, requested that the judge regrant his probation, contending the victim initiated the phone calls “99%” of the time. Bednarski also alleged in court that the now-20-year-old woman extorted Wismer, allegedly threatening to report the calls to his probation officer if she wasn’t paid.
A family member of the victim disputed that characterization Tuesday, saying in a telephone interview that Wismer used anonymous phone apps and other social media accounts to initiate contact.
Sometimes, those messages took the form of pestering the victim anonymously, the relative said.
“She said sometimes she would call him up to cuss him out,” the relative said.
According to the woman’s relative, the victim acknowledged she occasionally found herself “falling” for Wismer all over again. But, the relative added, she told family members she ultimately rejected him, saying, “This is all a game for him and I would go down the drain if I fell for it.”
Bednarski said the victim followed through on her threat to report Wismer after he refused to pay her for her silence.
The relative, whose name isn’t being used to protect the victim’s identity, said the woman acknowledged making monetary demands, but only to “hurt” Wismer, who she said “only cared about his money and status.”
“They’re still trying to portray him as someone who was trapped, but it was a 50-year-old man who groomed a child into having sex with him for years,” the victim’s relative said. “She wakes up in the middle of the night screaming. She has lost trust in everyone around her.”
Wismer formerly worked at Boston-based LPL Financial, operating under the name Wismer Wealth Management Group. He was fired after being arrested in 2017 on suspicion of stalking and physically assaulting the then-teenager.
Prosecutors later added charges alleging he had sexually assaulted her for several years after coercing her into a continuing sexual relationship when she was 14.
The victim previously told authorities Wismer drew on his role as a mentor and father figure in coercing an illicit relationship. Wismer had befriended the teen’s father through church after her Iranian family immigrated to the U.S. from France, and his ties to the family continued after the victim’s parents had divorced, her relative said Tuesday.
Wismer routinely took the victim to school and participated in Bible study with her, the relative said.
Wismer pleaded guilty in 2018 to sex assault under a plea deal that called for a sentence of 10 years to life on sex offender intensive supervised parole. At the time, prosecutors said they agreed to not pursue a prison sentence largely because the victim, who had since left Colorado, did not want to participate in the court case.
The 2019 phone calls weren’t recorded, Roche said.
Gazette reporter Olivia Prentzel contributed to this report.