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Vista Sands’ spokesperson Sikes serving 4 years in prison

By LeAnn R. Ralph

GLENWOOD CITY — R.J. Sikes, now the former managing partner and spokesperson for Vista Sand, has been convicted on two counts of indecency with a child and child sexual assault and is serving four years in a Texas prison.

Sikes’ conviction and subsequent prison sentence was first reported in the August 20 edition of the Tribune Press Reporter.

According to court documents obtained from Texas, an Ellis County jury dismissed a second count of indecency with a child following a six-day jury trial earlier this summer that started June 23 and ended June 30.

Roger John Sikes, 34, was indicted on the charges August 9, 2012, and was arrested August 24, 2012.

The indecency with a child and the child sexual assault occurred on July 1, 2010, according to court documents.

Sikes was committed directly to prison following the jury’s verdict on June 30.

A bail bond of $20,000 was set in the case.

According to the grand jury indictment, on the charge of indecency with a child, Sikes did “intentionally or knowingly engage in sexual contact with Jane Doe 178 by touching the breasts of Jane Doe 178, a child younger than 17 years of age.”

According the indictment from the grand jury on the charge of sexual assault of a child, Sikes “intentionally or knowingly cause(d) the penetration of the sexual organ of Jane Doe 178, a child who was then and there younger than 17 years of age, by defendant’s finger.”

A grand jury consists of 12 people whose job is to review criminal complaints to decide if there is sufficient evidence to issue an indictment.

According to the Ellis County district attorney’s office, Sikes turned himself in on the warrants issued for his arrest on August 24, 2012. His occupation was listed as “sand mining with Vista Sand.”

Following his arrest, Sikes appeared four days later at a public hearing before the Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee on August 28, 2012, for a proposed frac sand loading facility in the Town of Menomonie.

Dunn County subsequently denied the request for a rezone from agricultural to industrial on 190 acres along U.S. Highway 12 between state Highway 79 and Knapp.

Vista Sand also began the process of applying for a reclamation permit with St. Croix County for a frac sand mine just south of Glenwood City during the summer of 2012.

According to the jury verdict from Ellis County Texas, Sikes was sentenced to four years in prison on the charge of indecency with a child with no probation and four years in prison on the charge of sexual assault of a child with no probation. Both sentences are to be served concurrently.

Restitution was not ordered on either charge although Sikes was ordered to pay $413 in court costs. Court documents were not clear as to whether the court cost was a total that covered all charges on which he was convicted or if he was assessed $413 on each charge.

Sikes pleaded not guilty during an arraignment hearing in October of 2012.

Criminal complaints in the state of Wisconsin are part of the public record and are available to the public, but according to the Ellis County district attorney’s office, under Texas law, the criminal complaint in a case involving the sexual assault of a minor is not part of the public record and is not available to the public.

As a matter of ethics, members of the news media do not name the victim of a sexual assault when it involves either a minor or an adult, although the names of the accused and the convicted are used in news reports.