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Clara City man facing two felony charges for having sexual contact with a child

A Clara City man has been charged with two felonies for allegedly having sexual contact with a child. The contact started when the child was 9 years old.

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Editor's note: All charges against Matthew Richard Regnier in this matter were dismissed July 22, 2022, in Chippewa County District Court. The dismissal story can be read here .

MONTEVIDEO — A Clara City man faces felony charges for having repeated sexual contact with a child, beginning when she was 9 years old.

Matthew Richard Regnier, 36, was charged in January with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for sexual penetration with a minor. One charge covers alleged offenses from February through September 2021, and the other covers December 2021.

Matthew Richard Regnier
Matthew Richard Regnier
Custody photo

Regnier made his initial appearance in Chippewa County District Court on Feb. 7. His next court appearance will be a settlement conference March 28.

At a bail hearing Jan. 28, he was granted a public defender and ordered held on bail of $100,000 cash or bond for release without conditions and $50,000 cash or bond for conditional release. He posted $50,000 bond Feb. 1.

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According to court documents, Regnier is accused of having sexual contact with a young girl in 2021, beginning when she was 9 years old. It also is alleged to have occurred after she had turned 10. Several of the incidents involved penetration.

In an interview with a Chippewa County Family Services supervisor, the child said there had been six incidents with different types of contact.

Regnier allegedly asked her to participate in other sexual contact, but she refused, saying it was wrong. Regnier allegedly showed her a video to try to show her that other people did it, but she continued to refuse.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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