Authorities allege a Reedsburg teen bound, gagged and sexually assaulted an 8-year-old child he was babysitting.
The Sauk County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday charged 17-year-old Riley M. Roth as an adult with five felonies, including first-degree sexual assault of a child, repeated child sexual assault, false imprisonment, strangulation and physical abuse of a child.
The charges relate to two separate incidents in November during which Roth allegedly was working as a babysitter. At the time of the most recent assault, Roth was out on bond in a felony case filed against him Nov. 5 in which he was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.
The mother for whom he was babysitting told authorities she received a text message from Roth in late November in which he said one of the two children under his supervision was “making up a bunch of crap” and saying the he was “trying to touch” the child inappropriately.
The mother came home, spoke with the two children, and asked them to write down what happened, according to the criminal complaint.
The children said Roth took one of them to a separate room and told the other not to come in. According to the complaint, the 8-year-old began screaming after Roth began touching the child inappropriately.
At that point, he allegedly bound and gagged his victim before continuing the assault.
“It’s horrifying,” Reedsburg Police Chief Tim Becker said, adding that he is not sure how the mother came to know or hire Roth. “I would just remind parents that when they’re selecting babysitters, they can do background checks at local police departments.”
Becker said parents may learn more about a prospective babysitter by asking local police for records than by searching the state’s online court records system, commonly known as CCAP.
He said departments can provide information about open investigations or calls for service that didn’t result in a criminal charge.
The charging document filed against Roth lists assaults on Nov. 4 and 25. At the time of the most recent assault, Roth was out on a signature bond in a separate felony case, court records show.
On Nov. 5, prosecutors charged him with three felony counts of second-degree child sexual assault. In that case, a 14-year-old girl told investigators that Roth forced her to have sex with him multiple times last summer.
In that case, Roth was arrested and released Nov. 7 on a $3,000 signature bond, documents show.
In addition to the new felony charges, prosecutors also filed a separate misdemeanor case Wednesday against Roth in which he is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl and obstructing an officer.
The criminal complaint in that case says a Reedsburg detective was informed in September that Roth had “a threesome” with two others last summer, and that one of them was 15 years old at the time.
According to the complaint, Roth denied the allegation in an Oct. 5 interview with a detective. The two other individuals later detailed the summer incident during interviews that took place Nov. 21 and Monday.
Roth appeared in court Thursday, and prosecutors requested a $100,000 cash bond. A judge set bond at $25,000, and ordered that he have no contact with the alleged victim or the child’s family. He also may have no contact with any females under 18 years of age other than incidental contact.
He is due to appear in court Jan. 10.