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Trials scheduled for former Colfax man charged with assaulting children

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — Trials have been scheduled for July and September for a 66-year-old former Colfax man charged with eight felonies related to the sexual assault of a child.

Elmer C. Shilts Jr. appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court for a bond hearing February 1.

Judge Rod Smeltzer set an additional bail of $500 cash. The court has ordered Shilts to have no contact with anyone under 18 years of age. The judge also is requiring that Shilts check in with the Dunn County Jail every Saturday at 10 a.m.

All together, Shilts is charged with four felony counts of first degree sexual assault of a child, one felony count of the repeated sexual assault of a child, and three felony counts of exposing genitals to a child.

Online court records list a Knapp address for Shilts.

The alleged assaults took place at the Colfax Fairgrounds, an apartment building in Colfax and in a parked car in Menomonie.

In the first case, the alleged victim was seven years old at the time, and in the second case, the alleged victim was between the ages of five and seven at the time.

According to the criminal complaint, during interviews regarding the first case with a social worker, former Colfax Police Chief Pete Gehring and an officer with the Menomonie police department, Shilts alternated between denying that anything had happened, that it was not true and he would “deny it until the day he died” and saying he could not remember if anything had happened, but if something did happen, he was sorry — and admitted that during one incident he had asked the girl if he could touch her vagina and then had masturbated.

According to online court records, during an August of 2015 court hearing, Judge Smeltzer granted a continuance in the first case to allow time for evaluation of Shilts because there were concerns about his mental health.

In the second case, Shilts is alleged to have assaulted another child between May of 2012 and April of 2014 in the Village of Colfax.

The assaults in the first case are alleged to have occurred in June and September of 2012 and in June of 2013.

According to the criminal complaint, in the second case, Colfax Police Chief William Anderson received a written statement from the child’s mother in February of 2015.

A jury trial in the second case is scheduled for July 12 and 13.

A jury trial in the first case is scheduled for September 8 and 9.

Shilts waived his right to a preliminary hearing for the first case in July of 2015.

Following a preliminary hearing in December for the second case, Judge Smeltzer found probable cause and bound Shilts over for trial.