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Hager City man acquitted in sex assault trial

Christopher E. Kaeder

A Pierce County jury acquitted a Hager City man on trial last week for sexual assault of a child.

The two-day trial for Christopher E. Kaeder ended Friday with his acquittal, according to Pierce County Circuit Court records.

Charges against the 36-year-old included first-degree sexual assault of a child under 13 to which he pleaded not guilty in August 2016.

A criminal complaint stated the mother of a child known to Kaeder came forward to Pierce County sheriff's deputies Aug. 1, 2016, saying the girl reported he may have molested her the previous weekend.

In an interview with investigators, the alleged victim tearfully described how Kaeder was drunk and climbed on top of her while she was sleeping and that he made sexual contact with her, according to the complaint. He got off her, the child said, when another child in the room woke up, the charging document states.

Kaeder adamantly denied the allegations in an interview with investigators, according to the complaint. He told deputies he believed the alleged victim and another witness had made up the allegations, though investigators said in the complaint that there were "numerous inconsistencies" in his account versus that of the witnesses.

Kaeder was also found in possession of drug paraphernalia, the complaint states. The jury convicted him of that offense.

The alleged victim, as well as her mother, testified at the trial, along with an investigator. Jurors were also shown recorded interviews of the alleged victim and the witness. Kaeder did not testify in his own defense.

Pierce County District Attorney Sean Froelich called the verdict "very disappointing."

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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