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Cameron man charged with assaulting 14-year-old in Colfax

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE —  A 19-year-old Cameron man has been charged with the second degree sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl from Colfax.

Dennis A. Veldman is charged with one Class C felony count of the second degree sexual assault of child under the age of 16 and is scheduled for an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court on April 30.

According to the criminal complaint, the girl had been reported as a runaway but the case was then classified as a juvenile sexual assault that had occurred in the Village of Colfax.

The alleged victim was 14 at the time but has since turned 15.

The girl had told her mother she was going to stay with a friend at her grandparents’ house and then met the defendant for what the criminal complaint describes as “consensual sex” on the evening of October 31 or in the early morning hours of November 1.

On November 1, the mother requested a sexual assault exam, and evidence of sexual activity was discovered during the exam. When investigators arrived, the girl denied that any sexual activity had taken place but then admitted that she’d had sexual intercourse with the defendant, the complaint says.

Colfax Police Chief Pete Gehring had arranged for a forensic interview at the Child Advocacy Center in Eau Claire on November 5 but received a call from the girl’s mother who said the girl was with her father and that she did not know if they would show up for the interview.

According to the complaint, Chief Gehring reported that he had subsequently received a call from the father saying they were going on a family vacation and could not be there for the interview.

Chief Gehring reported that he had called the Cameron Police Department on January 23 but that police officers said Veldman was no longer living in Cameron or with his mother in Chetek.

On January 24, according to the complaint, Chief Gehring received a call from Veldman and eventually arranged to meet Veldman at the Barron Public Library to get a statement from him.

Chief Gehring waited at the library in Barron from 9:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. on January 28, but Veldman never showed up for the meeting, according to the complaint.

Veldman’s initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court on April 30 is scheduled before the Honorable Judge Rod Smeltzer at 10:45 a.m.

Second-degree sexual assault is a Class C felony and carries a penalty of up to a $100,000  fine and/or 40 years in prison.