Preliminary hearing rescheduled for Boyceville registered sex offender accused of working with children

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  A 57-year-old Boyceville woman who is a lifetime registered sex offender charged with two felony counts of a child sex offender working with children and strangulation failed to show up for a preliminary hearing January 23.

Judge James M. Peterson issued a bench warrant in Dunn County Circuit Court for Roberta Hitz January 23, and Hitz returned to court on the warrant January 24, accompanied by her attorney, Christopher R. Bub.

Bub told Judge Peterson that he had the wrong the time for the preliminary hearing the previous day. 

Judge Peterson set a bail amount for Hitz of $200 cash, and as a condition of bail, ordered her to have no contact with a 29-year-old and a six-year-old. 

Hitz posted the $200 cash bail January 26.

A preliminary hearing in the case is now scheduled for March 16.

Hitz also is charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. 

According to the criminal complaint, Hitz was convicted of first degree child sexual assault in Dunn County in 1998, was under a lifetime sex offender registry and also had been charged in 2009 as a child sex offender working with children.

Boyceville police officers were dispatched to a disturbance on Second Street in Boyceville September 1 of last year. Witnesses had reported a possible physical disturbance, and officers were able to locate the vehicle that had been driven by one of the parties, according to the complaint.

Boyceville Police Chief Greg Lamkin said that when he knocked on the door of a residence, the 29-year-old woman who answered appeared to have been crying. When asked if she had been involved in an altercation, the woman said that she had. The woman’s six-year-old son interrupted saying “they had choked her,” which he demonstrated by holding his hands up to his throat, according to the complaint.

The woman told Police Chief Lamkin she had left her son with Hitz and that she had paid Hitz to take care of him while she was at work. 

Hitz had contacted the woman around noon and asked when she was coming to pick up her son. The woman said she would be at work until 1 p.m. but agreed to leave work early, according to the complaint.

Police Chief Lamkin reported that while he was talking to the child’s mother, her son was still crying and had tried to grab his mother’s right hand. The woman winced and told him that was her hurt finger and that she thought her right index finger may have been broken during the altercation. 

Hitz later came to the Boyceville Police Department and told Police Chief Lamkin that it was clear the woman had been upset because she had been asked to leave work early and had been confrontational, according to the complaint. 

The woman told Police Chief Lamkin that Hitz had watched her son three days a week for the previous two weeks and that Hitz also was the primary caregiver for two other children throughout the summer while they were not in school.