'Walking time bomb:' Jovon Bethly gets 40 years in prison for kidnapping, sexually assault

Jovon Bethly

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County judge on Friday, June 14 sentenced Jovon Bethly to 40 years in prison and 20 years extended supervision for kidnapping and sexually assaulting two women. The attacks happened in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa in September 2018.

Bethly originally faced the following charges:

    But on Friday, March 15, Bethly and his attorney agreed to plead guilty to the sexual assault charges — in exchange for the three other charges being dismissed and read into the court record for sentencing purposes.

    Jovon Bethly

    According to the criminal complaint, on Saturday, Sept. 1 around 7:45 a.m., officers were dispatched to the area of 28th Street and Richardson Place in Milwaukee for the report of an abduction.

    Wisconsin Athletic Club

    The victim told police she was walking home with her boyfriend when they were approached by a suspect in a van. The victim told officers the suspect, later identified as Jovon Bethly, pointed a gun at her boyfriend and asked him “where the money was at.” The victim’s boyfriend approached Bethly and showed him he did not have anything. That’s when Bethly allegedly told the victim to “get in the car.” The victim told police she complied, because she feared her boyfriend would be shot if she did not.

    The complaint indicates Bethly then drove from the area of 28th and Richardson to 28th and Kilbourn, where he pulled over and sexually assaulted the victim. Bethly then drove the victim to the area of 27th and Kilbourn and let her go.

    A week later, on Sunday, Sept. 9, Wauwatosa officers were dispatched to the Wisconsin Athletic Club on Watertown Plank Road around 10:15 a.m. for a possible kidnapping, sexual assault and aggravated battery report.

    According to the criminal complaint, the victim told police she was running with her dog northbound on N. 87th Street, just east of the Wisconsin Athletic Club, when a man exited a gray minivan and displayed a handgun. He allegedly told the victim to leave the dog and get in the vehicle. The complaint indicates Bethly drove to an undeveloped area of the Milwaukee County Grounds just north of 87th and Watertown Plank Road and parked. Once parked, he sexually assaulted the victim. After the assault, he then dropped her off in the same spot he kidnapped her from.

    Both women say Bethly told them that he would kill them and their families if they told anyone what happened. But both came forward anyway, hoping he wouldn't hurt anyone else.

    Jovon Bethly

    "We both made the choice to survive and fight, and that's why we're here today," said one victim.

    Bethly pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault, and made the following statement in court on Friday, June 14.

    "The impact and the effect that I placed and left was uncalled for and the pain, suffering and the trauma that I've caused was without reason," said Bethly.

    The judge said a lengthy sentence was necessary for one of the worst crimes he's eve seen.

    "This man is... I don't want to call him a walking time bomb... he's a bomb that continues to go off," said Judge Joseph Wall.

    For both cases, Bethly will serve a combined 40 years and then 20 years extended supervision.

    Jovon Bethly