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Texting leads to felony charge

A Chetek man accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old Solon Springs girl he made contact with through cell phone texting waived his preliminary hearing May 13 in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Anthony Richard Leritz, 28, faces one felony charge of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age.

The 15-year-old and a friend who was spending the night at her house snuck out around 2 a.m. April 1 to meet with Leritz and his friend, Jay, after the Chetek man texted them that he was coming up from Eau Claire, according to the criminal complaint.

Leritz had been communicating with the victim via texting for about a year, the complaint stated. In her statement, the victim said she did not know how the Chetek man got her number and that she had told him to stop texting her and get rid of her number.

On the night of the incident, the victim told authorities, the Chetek man texted her and her friend that he was driving up to meet them. They met by the railroad tracks, the girls got in the car and they drove down a dead-end road. At that point, the victim kissed and snuggled with Leritz and he touched her inappropriately, the complaint stated. Then the men dropped the girls off and they walked back to the victim's house.

Leritz remains free on a $2,000 signature bond. As a condition of the bond, he is to have no contact with the alleged victim. An arraignment was scheduled for June.