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Lopez held on $1 million cash bail, attorney withdraws from case

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  — An attorney has withdrawn from representing a former Boyceville man charged with multiple felonies related to child sexual assault who is now in custody in Dunn County on a $1 million cash bail.

Judge Rod Smeltzer held a hearing March 28 on a motion filed by Charles S. Huff to withdraw as the attorney for Ted Lopez.

Lopez, 40, is charged with 13 felonies, including the repeated sexual assault of a child with at least three incidents of first degree sexual assault, causing mental harm to a child, child exploitation, causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity, child enticement and exposing a child to harmful material.

According to the criminal complaints, the alleged assaults occurred in the Village of Boyceville and involved two young boys and a young girl.

The alleged assaults involving one young boy took place over a period of about four years.

Lopez was arrested in Minnesota earlier this month after skipping out on a $55,000 cash bail he had posted.

Huff told the court that at the time Lopez was located in Minnesota, he had already filed a motion to withdraw as Lopez’s attorney and noted Judge Smeltzer had subsequently held a bail forfeiture hearing

Huff appeared before Judge Rod Smeltzer September 11, 2017, and said he did not know the whereabouts of Lopez and had not had any contact with Lopez since the end of June.

A bench warrant had been issued by the court July 17, 2017, for Lopez’s arrest.

Judge Smeltzer ordered a forfeiture of $20,000 in cash bail last September and ordered an additional forfeiture of $15,000 at a court hearing earlier this year.

Huff said at the March 27 hearing Lopez had previously retained Huff’s services as a private-pay client but that Lopez now does not have any money to re-engage Huff’s services.

At one point in the hearing, Lopez addressed Judge Smeltzer and apologized for his absence, said he was going through a lot of emotions and that he wanted to make a positive result of the cases filed against him.

Huff said he believed Lopez would be eligible for a public defender.

Judge Smeltzer asked if Huff would be willing to be the public defender for Lopez and that it would be his first preference to have Huff take the case since Huff is familiar with the case.

Judge Smeltzer asked if Huff would speak to the public defender’s office.

Huff said he would have no problem speaking with the public defender’s office but there would be no guarantee he would be willing to accept the case as a public defender if it were assigned to him.

Judge Smeltzer granted Huff’s motion to withdraw as the attorney for Lopez and reiterated he would like Huff to speak with the public defender’s office about the possibility of being appointed to the Lopez case as a public defender.

The Menomonie Police Department issued a news release Thursday, March 8, to report that 40-year-old Ted Lopez had been hiding in Staples, Minnesota, was taken into custody without incident, and was being held in the Sherburne County Jail.

Law enforcement officials had attempted to gather information over the course of several months to determine Lopez’s whereabouts, according to the news release.

Several leads and tips ended up revealing that Lopez was hiding in Staples and using the alias of “Tony Luzon,” the news release states.

Lopez was returned to Dunn County and appeared before Judge James Peterson March 13.

Judge Peterson set a cash bail of $1 million and ordered Lopez to have no contact with several individuals and to have no unsupervised contact with any juvenile under the age of 18 years or with the victims’ residences.

Lopez is scheduled for another court appearance in Dunn County April 23.