ALMA, Wis. (KMSP) - A western Wisconsin woman said at least three members of a motorcycle club beat her and she believes prosecutors went easy on the men because they are intimidated by the bikers.
The attack happened in Buffalo County, just off the highway across the river from Winona, Minn.
In April 2015, Samantha had gone out drinking with Lucas Anderson, a member of the Road Dogs motorcycle club.
The party ended up at the Road Dogs remote clubhouse on an isolated hill top, a former strip club called the Gin Mill.
Samantha said she wanted to leave and went to the parking lot to search for her cell phone and house keys.
According to confidential witnesses, there was drama involved. Samantha got upset when Anderson started flirting with another woman. She then refused to leave and knocked over a motorcycle.
That's when at least three Road Dogs, maybe more, started punching Samantha.
"Next thing I remember is getting the s--t kicked out of me by a bunch of guys, getting picked up and put in the back of a truck," she said. "I remember sitting up and someone punching me. I was being hit and kicked and finally I just laid there."
Witnesses said Samantha was bleeding from the head and face and "appeared lifeless."
In the pickup, she was driven a half-mile down the hill where she was found along the side of the road.
Paramedics and the sheriff responded to the call of a woman off the side of the road unconscious with head and facial injuries.
Caveman comes forward
One month after the assault, Jonathan A. Hanson, also known as Caveman, walked into the sheriff's office and was ready to take the fall. He was the sergeant of arms at the clubhouse.
Buffalo County sheriff's office detective Lee Engfer recorded the interview.
"Here's the thing, Lee, I know you're looking for the person who did this and the situation," Hanson said in the interview. "Your focus should be on me, no one else."
Hanson said he hit her so hard, his thick rings had left impressions on Samantha's face.
At least two witnesses also saw Scott Durham, who goes by Satan, punch Samantha too.
'I've got people in the parking lot who saw other people punching her,” Engfer said.
"I'm telling you I'm the only one who punched her,” Hanson told him.
Despite the conflicting accounts, the detective seemed eager to close out the case with Caveman. During the taped interview, he said he was getting pressure from the top.
"I'll talk to [the District Attorney]. I'll explain your cooperation and things and we'll try to work something out before we even have your court appearance," Engfer said.
Then there was the old dog, Daniel Abts.
"There's been a long time understanding between law enforcement and the club. We'll overlook some things. On the flip side, s--t doesn't go down in our backyard," said Engfer.
They both wax nostalgic for the old days, when Jeffery Reich, who goes by Hitler, ran the show. He died a few years ago from cancer.
"Hitler was probably the best to deal with over the years. There was no d********g around," Engfer said during the interview. "You get younger guys in there and they get stupid, you've got some guys trying to make names for themselves and they're doing stuff stupid.
Samantha admits, she's no angel. She's got a rap sheet for theft, fraud and domestic assault.
"He was concerned. Did I see drugs at the Gin Mill? Did I do drugs at the Gin Mill? That's all he cared about were drugs at the Gin Mill," she said.
When she posted a picture of her bloody face on Facebook, she says the DA and detective went ballistic, telling her to stop provoking the Road Dogs.
She said the D.A .told her, "I'm asking for trouble because I'm making them mad."
Day of sentencing
Samantha chose not to attend the sentencing of Jonathan Hanson at the Buffalo County courthouse in Alma. Last time she attended a court hearing, she said members of the Road Dogs stood outside every exit.
"I don't know why it's interesting, because it's all based on lies," Hanson told the Fox 9 Investigators before the sentencing.
He pleaded no contest to the charges against him.
"Because we each have a life, kids and families," Hanson said. "No one needs to spend time in prison, for something they didn't do. We didn't touch her."
Inside the courtroom, Hanson changed his story back to what he told police.
"I'd first like to apologies to Samantha," he said to the judge.
Hanson first went to prison when he was 17. He went back for theft, forgery, and assault, but his record has been clean for the last decade.
"Mr. Hanson has taken sole responsibility for injuries done to S.H. We have taken that at face value," D.A. Thomas Clark said to the court.
The deal Hanson took was good. The battery charges, which could put him back in prison for 10 years, were dropped.
His plea of no contest to false imprisonment got him seven months in jail, with work release and home visits.
Two others, Abts and Durham (Satan) had felony charges dismissed and plead guilty to disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, with no jail time.
Judge James Duvall even praised the Road Dogs for their local charity work.
"I am aware of the good work done by your club with community activities and fundraisers, and things like that," Duvall said.
Durham and Hanson had nothing to say to the Fox 9 Investigators after the sentencing.
The D.A. wasn't eager to talk about the plea deal either, but he did answer a few questions.
"I think we met with the victim several times and got her in step with what was done," he said. "That's what we thought was appropriate and that's what the judge ordered, we are fine with it."
He never answered a question about being intimidated by the motorcycle gang.