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Wheeler man bound over for trial on sexual assault of nine-year-old

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — A Dunn County judge has found probable cause in the case of a 53-year-old Wheeler man accused of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl.

Following a preliminary hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court January 31, Judge Conrad A. Richards bound over for trial Terry L. Gums, who is accused of assaulting the girl at his home in Wheeler.

Rod Dicus of the Dunn County sheriff’s department testified that the girl had reported Gums touched her “privates” and that she ended up with “yellow stuff” in her hand and in her mouth.

The girl lived within walking distance of where Gums lives in Wheeler and would take meals over for him and would watch television at his residence, Dicus said.

At one point, a woman who lived in the same residence as Gums came home from work early and walked in on inappropriate sexual contact between Gums and the girl, he testified.

Dicus said he left a message for Gums that he wanted to talk to him last August, and that about an hour and a half later, Gums had arrived at the sheriff’s department.

Dicus said he informed Gums that he was not under arrest, that he could leave at any time but that he wanted to talk to him about alleged inappropriate contact between Gums and the girl.

Gums initially denied there had been any inappropriate contact but later admitted that his roommate had walked in on him and the girl, Dicus testified.

Gums’ attorney, Donna Burger, asked Dicus to confirm that Gums had come to the sheriff’s department voluntarily, that he had been told he was free to leave at any time and that Dicus had not read the Miranda rights to Gums.

Dicus confirmed that what Burger said was true.

Burger also asked Dicus to confirm that he had not interviewed the girl himself or the girl’s mother but that he was testifying according to a report written by Dennis Rhead of the Dunn County sheriff’s department.

Dicus confirmed that as well.

Judge Richards determined there was probable cause in the case and bound Gums over for trial.

An arraignment hearing for Gums is scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court March 24.

Bail was set for Gums with a $5,000 signature bond on August 13 of last year.