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Man faces Renville County felony charge for inappropriately touching a child

A Brooten man is facing felony criminal sexual conduct charge for allegedly fondling a child at her home in Renville in 2019. His next court appearance will be later this month.

Travis Dean Ryks.jpg
Ryks

OLIVIA — A Brooten man is facing a felony charge for allegedly fondling a child in Renville in 2019.

Travis Dean Ryks, 36, of Brooten, had a pretrial hearing last week in Renville County District Court on a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having sexual contact with a child younger than 13. His next court date will be Jan. 29.

A jury trial originally scheduled for Feb. 11-12 has been canceled, and no new trial date has been set.

Ryks is on conditional release from the Renville County Jail after paying a $20,000 bail bond.

Among the conditions placed on him is an order to submit to random drug testing, to not use or possess firearms, to have no contact with the victim and to not use alcohol or drugs.

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Ryks was first charged in May 2019. Postponement or cancellation of some hearings carried the case into 2020, when the pandemic caused further cancellations and delays.

According to court documents, Ryks allegedly touched a 12-year-old girl numerous times in Renville in 2019.

He was accused of touching and fondling the girl’s breasts. He also was accused of laying on top of the child and reaching under her top.

The girl eventually told her father about the abuse, and he contacted Renville County authorities in May 2019.

An investigation found text messages of a sexual nature from Ryks to the victim as well. In one text, the victim responded and told him her age.

When Ryks was arrested, he declined to be interviewed.

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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