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Man Posing As Sports Photographer to Trick Teens Pleads Not Guilty

The 68-year-old Greenfield man faces two telephone harassment charges as well as two misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges in Ozaukee County for lying about his identity so that he could photograph two Cedarburg High School athletes.

A man charged with telephone harrassment and disorderly conduct for misleading teens about his identity so that he could photograph them pleaded not guilty to the charges in court on Tuesday.

Gary Medrow, a 68-year-old Greenfield man, faces $4,000 in fines and 360 days in prison for the two telephone harrassment charges as well as two misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges in connection with an incident involving two Cedarburg High School female athletes.

Medrow, who lives in the 5200 block of South Tuckaway Blvd., is accused of pretending to be a photographer named "Mike Clark" and contacting Cedarburg High School cheerleaders with the intent of taking their photos. Medrow asked the girls if they would be able to take the photo while one girl held the other on her shoulders, according to the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office criminal complaint.

In early November, Whitefish Bay Athletic Director John Gustavson said Journal Sentinel prep sports editor Mark Stewart sent him an email regarding very similar issues in the North Shore. The email warned parents and students in the Whitefish Bay School District that someone posing as a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer was contacting high school students under the guise of setting up interviews and photo shoots off campus.

This is not the first time Medrow has had a run-in with the law. He has been convicted multiple times, and has been impersonating people — reporters, police officers and more — since the late 1970s.

Retired police officers from Whitefish Bay as well as Winnebago County Sheriff's Office contacted the investigating officer in Ozaukee County to report similar incidents from 20 to 30 years ago, the criminal complaint said. These officers were able to identify Medrow as the defendant in those incidents.

Medrow faced charges in the Milwaukee County courts for such actions in 1997 and was "found guilty of actually committing the crime," but not guilty by reason of mental defect, in many of those cases, according to court records. He faced disorderly conduct and impersonating a police officer charges in Waukesha County in September 2004; that criminal complaint was dismissed in July 2007.

Physical contact between the people involved has been a common thread in Medrow's past impersonations, during which he often asks his photo subjects to lift or carry one another in a variety of settings, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

When officers made contact with Medrow in connection with the most recent incidents, he "admited that he had a problem and was seeking medical treatment through a psychiatrist," the criminal complaint said.

Medrow will appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 17 for further proceedings.

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