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Colfax man held on $25,000 cash bail for child assault bound over for trial

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  A Dunn County judge has ordered a 24-year-old Colfax man being held on a $25,000 cash bail bound over for trial on four felony counts related to the sexual assault of a child.

Judge James Peterson found probable cause in a case involving Jesse D. Thoms following a preliminary hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court May 25.

Thoms is charged with one felony count each of first degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, repeated sexual assault of the same child and two felony counts of exposing genitals to a child.

According to the criminal complaint, the assaults occurred between May and December of 2015.

At the time of the alleged assaults, the two boys were ten and six years old.

During an interview at the Child Advocacy Center, the ten-year-old said Thoms had taken him fishing, and upon their return, had allowed the boy to sit on his lap and steer Thoms’ vehicle with Thoms controlled the brakes and gas. The boy said while he was steering the vehicle, Thoms had touched him inappropriately, according to the complaint.

The ten-year-old also said the defendant had sexual contact with him a number of times in the defendant’s bedroom and that Thoms had shown the boy pictures of naked women that Thoms had on his cell phone.

When the six-year-old boy was interviewed, he said that Thoms had done something he was not supposed to do, but that he could not remember what had happened, according to the complaint.

While talking to investigators, Thoms denied the accusations and said “he wasn’t gay” and “he wouldn’t touch children inappropriately,” according to the complaint.

In 2014, Thoms pleaded no contest and was found guilty of burglarizing a property owned by state Representative Tom Larson and his wife, Mary.

Judge Conrad Richards placed Thoms on two years of probation and withheld sentence.

Thoms was charged as a party to a crime.

Richard Lipina, 24, of Colfax also was  charged with one felony count of burglary in connection with the same incident.

First degree child sexual assault and repeated sexual assault of the same child are Class B felonies that, if convicted, carry a possible penalty of up to 60 years in prison on each count.

Because of his other convictions in Dunn County, as a repeat offender, Thoms could face additional time in prison of up to two years for the misdemeanors related to bail jumping, attempted theft and theft.

Exposing genitals to a child is a Class I felony that, if convicted, carries a penalty of up to 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

As a repeat offender, if convicted of the Class I felonies, Thoms could face an additional two years in prison for the previous misdemeanors.

Judge Peterson set a cash bail of $25,000 May 9.

During the May 25 court hearing, Judge Peterson said he would not reduce the bail amount.

Thoms is scheduled to be arraigned in Dunn County Circuit Court June 3.