Former mixed martial arts fighter sentenced to six years in prison for domestic violence assaults

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APPLETON – A former professional mixed martial arts fighter from Lac du Flambeau will spend six years in prison and four years on extended supervision for domestic violence toward his ex-girlfriend.

Frank Schuman, 30, was sentenced Monday in Outagamie County Circuit Court for two counts of battery, two counts of disorderly conduct, and one count of strangulation and suffocation — all felonies with domestic abuse modifiers — which he pleaded guilty to in October.

Schuman also faces charges in Vilas County for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and in Oneida County for incidents involving hitting, choking and pointing a gun at another woman. It’s not his first time facing domestic violence charges — in 2018 Schuman was convicted of multiple counts of misdemeanor battery for domestic abuse against his ex-wife in 2016.

At Schuman’s sentencing, the victim of Schuman’s abuse — a woman who dated Schuman for more than four years — and Assistant District Attorney Julie Duquaine pointed to Schuman’s long history of violence toward romantic partners, using similar tactics to those he used in the MMA ring, and expressed concern that if he were to not receive a lengthy enough prison sentence, he may go on to kill someone.

“The next victim may not be able to tell her story,” the woman said.

With trembling hands and a tearful voice, the woman read a victim impact statement to the court, describing lasting physical and mental impacts of the violence and fear she dealt with for years while in a relationship with Schuman. She noted that since speaking out about the abuse she faced, her “inbox has been flooding” with messages from other women who say they also experienced violence at the hands of Schuman.

While the woman said she endured multiple incidents of violence from Schuman, he has been convicted of two incidents in Outagamie County that occurred on April 2, 2022, and May 1, 2022.

According to two criminal complaints, on April 2, 2022, Schuman drove the woman to her residence in Appleton and they got into an argument in the car. Schuman hit the woman in the face with a closed fist. Earlier in the day, they had been in Vilas County, where Schuman allegedly repeatedly punched the woman in the face during an argument.

After he hit the woman in Appleton, Schuman drove her to the emergency room at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital, where she was informed she had a broken jaw and had to have it wired shut.

Schuman then helped take care of the woman while her jaw began to heal, she said. But on May 1, 2022, Schuman and the woman got into an argument and Schuman choked her and hit her. After she fell on the floor, Schuman kicked her repeatedly while wearing work boots, according to the complaint.

A count of second-degree sexual assault with use of force was dismissed but read in. While Schuman denied the sexual assault ever occurred, the woman said the charge was only dismissed because she did not go to the hospital or law enforcement.

Duquaine recommended a sentence of 10 years of initial confinement followed by seven years of extended supervision. Schuman’s public defender, Jayme Lehman, agreed that a prison sentence was necessary, but argued that a lengthy period of time behind bars would not help Schuman’s rehabilitative needs. She recommended four years in prison and a lengthy period of extended supervision.

Before delivering Schuman’s sentence, Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Mark McGinnis asked Schuman to be specific about the crimes he takes responsibility for. McGinnis pointed out that Schuman previously told an agent he “blacked out” and did not remember anything from the assaults, but after questioning from McGinnis admitted that he does have memory of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

Schuman said he struggled with alcohol and cocaine addictions. In a statement to the court, he apologized to the victim and said he wants “to be a better person.”

McGinnis told Schuman he doubts he’s truly shameful about his assaults, and questioned why Schuman has a hard time owning up to his behaviors. He said he believes Schuman has a weak understanding of reality as well as a weak concept of empathy.

“Is there anybody more weak than a person like you, who beats up on defenseless women?” McGinnis said.

Still, McGinnis wished Schuman luck on his rehabilitation in prison.

During Schuman’s extended supervision after his prison sentence, he will need to meet multiple requirements, including maintaining absolute sobriety and refraining from engaging in romantic relationships without written court approval.

In his Vilas County case, Schuman has a trial scheduled for Feb. 15-16. In the Oneida County case, Schuman’s trial is scheduled for April 25-26.

RELATED:Lac du Flambeau man pleads guilty to domestic violence charges in Outagamie County

RELATED:Lac Du Flambeau man charged in Outagamie, Oneida, Vilas counties with violent crimes related to domestic abuse

RELATED:Domestic violence in Wisconsin is getting worse. This Green Bay executive learned why transportation plays a key role.

Kelli Arseneau can be reached at 920-213-3721 or [email protected]. Follow her on X at @ArseneauKelli.

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