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8-year-old reports being tied up, gagged, sexually assaulted by babysitter

Riley Roth is charged with sexual assault of a child, first-degree sexual assault of a child, false imprisonment, strangulation and suffocation and physical abuse of a child. (Photo: Reedsburg Police)

REEDSBURG, Wis. (WMSN) — A 17-year-old Reedsburg boy was arrested for sexually assaulting the 8-year-old child he was babysitting, according to a release from police.

Police were alerted on Nov. 28 that the 17-year-old, Riley M. Roth, had sexually assaulted the 8-year-old he was watching, officials said.

Police say Roth had been babysitting for this family for two weeks. They didn't know how this family got into contact with Roth for babysitting services. Roth and the victim are not related, according to police.

“These things don’t really happen very often here so it’s hard to hear," said Reedsburg police chief Tim Becker. "I think it’s important for people to understand these things can happen anywhere, and they should do whatever they can to make sure they’re bringing the safest people they can into their homes."

The victim reported being sexually assaulted several times between Nov. 4 and Nov. 18, according to the release. The victim reported being tied up and gagged while the assaults were taking place.

Becker said when the victim's parents reported this to police, "They were horrified by it for obvious reasons. They trusted this babysitter to take care of their child for them and unfortunately this incident occurred."

Roth was arrested on Nov. 30, police said. He is currently in jail on a $25,000 cash bond and was charged with repeated acts of sexual assault of a child, first-degree sexual assault of a child, false imprisonment, strangulation and suffocation and physical abuse of a child. He also faces a bail jumping charge.

Roth was also charged Wednesday with underage sexual activity with a child 15 years or older and obstructing an officer.

“He was in the middle of an investigation that occurred with a 15-year-old female and we finished that investigation while he was in jail with charges on him for two more misdemeanors and that’s sexual activity with a 15-year-old and then obstruction of an officer," Becker said.

Reedsburg police were notified in September of Roth being involved in sexual acts with a 15-year-old, according to a criminal complaint. Roth denied the sexual activity, but the 15-year-old and another person involved in the sexual activity confirmed it to police.

Roth attended school in the Reedsburg community school district. Superintendent Tom Benson said the district is doing what they can to provide as much support to students, staff and law enforcement as possible during the investigation.

“Obviously there’s a great deal of concern with those who are involved, the families involved and how that might impact our day-to-day operations as well," Benson said. "So far, we are just making sure the lines of communication are open so that our students are feeling comfortable having conversations with staff members if they want or need to ask questions or express feelings about this. Administratively we are having conversation with our staff about whatever their needs are. We’re confident the conversation will happen organically so that if people need help, we are in a position to provide it."

Roth is scheduled to be back in court on all of the charges Dec. 28.

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