Statement: Brown County Democrats Call on Rep. Shae Sortwell to Resign Over Alleged Child Abuse

Thursday, November 2, 2021
For immediate release

Green Bay, Wis. – Brown County Democrats call for the resignation of State Assembly Republican Shae Sortwell after allegations of child abuse  were revealed to the public in a Green Bay Press-Gazette report. 

“I am horrified by these allegations and call for Rep. Sortwell’s immediate resignation from the Assembly,” said Renee Gasch, Chair of the Brown County Democrats. “The people of the 2nd Assembly District deserve a representative who, at minimum, they feel is a safe person for them and their family to be around.”

The Press-Gazette reported that Sortwell was referred for felony charges of child abuse in 2013 when four-inch bruises were discovered on his child’s body. He confessed to police that he used an object to beat his child because, according to police records, “the Bible commanded him to strike his children as punishment.” However, no charges were ever brought against the politician who now serves on the Wisconsin Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which has jurisdiction over child abuse laws in the state. 

“Our elected officials need to hold themselves to a higher standard of ethics,” said Gasch. “Unfortunately, these disturbing allegations add to a long and troubling list of ethics concerns against Representative Sortwell.”

Sortwell, who represents West De Pere and Two Rivers in the State Assembly, has violated state ethics rules by blocking constituents from commenting on his official social media accounts. He has also been a boisterous conspiracy theorist in Brown County using his elected position to spread disinformation about the 2020 election and to disseminate anti-vaccine and anti-mask information. 

“Wisconsin children deserve safe homes and bright futures,” said Gasch. “We re-commit to supporting leaders who live by family values.”

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Democrats are working hard to improve child well-being in the state and across the country. Earlier this year, they united to pass a child tax credit that cut child poverty in half. Currently, they are working to add more early education and quality, affordable childcare to benefit all American families. 


Press Contact: Renee Gasch, Chair, Brown County Democrats 920-366-3780