City of Cedarburg — The common council on Monday, Aug. 29, voted unanimously not to renew an alcohol operator's license for a Cedarburg man convicted of having sex with a minor.
Michael J. Moralez, 25, of Cedarburg, pleaded guilty to one count of having sex with a minor — a 17-year-old female — in early July. For the misdemeanor conviction, Moralez was sentenced on July 25 to two years probation and a four-year prison sentence withheld, according to online court records.
On the day of Moralez's sentencing, Cedarburg Police Chief Thomas J. Frank recommended the council reject the renewal of the license that allows him to sell alcohol in the city of Cedarburg.
The city held a closed hearing on Monday, Aug. 29, to decide the future of Moralez's license, which he attended to make his case for renewal, according to council member Rick Verhaalen.
Mayor Kip Kinzel said the council takes seriously recommendations from the police chief to not renew alcohol licenses. He said his own concern in this case had to do with the “possibility of recidivism, and the position that he would still hold over possibly underage females.”
“He reviews all of them," Kinzel said of Frank. "When he does ask us not to renew or to deny a new one, it’s usually for good reason. It carries a lot of weight.”
Verhaalen said the manager of Maxwell's — the bar where Moralez now works — was present at the council meeting and said Moralez can still serve alcohol at the bar as long as a licensed bartender is working with him. "He can still work," Verhaalen said.
Franks said in early August that Moralez had sex with the girl multiple times in late 2015, and an investigation by his department and the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Department suggested alcohol was involved in at least one instance. He said the girl talked with officers at the Cedarburg Police Department and “indicated that the sexual contact took place in duress, not of her free will.”
Moralez was never charged with rape or sexual assault, court records show.
The state of Wisconsin requires any person who sells alcohol to have a license, which is issued by the village, town or city in which the person works, according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. It is up to the municipality to determine if the person applying for a license is qualified.