Eau Claire (WQOW) – The former executive director of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center has pleaded not guilty to a sexual assault charge.
Ben Richgruber was charged with 3rd degree sexual assault in February.
According to the criminal complaint, Richgruber drove a woman from a bar to his office where he had sex with her against her will. The woman said it happened in June of 2016.
Richgruber resigned from the arts center in March.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Eau Claire (WQOW) – A sexual assault charge was filed Monday against the executive director of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center.
Ben Richgruber was in court Monday morning on the charge of third degree sexual assault.
According to the criminal complaint, he met the victim at a local bar, then he took the woman to his office and had sex with her against her will, in June of 2016. The woman told investigators she went to Planned Parenthood for an examination several days later. She also said she sent Richgruber an email saying she was not alright with what happened. One of her friends said they had hoped someone at the arts center would see the email and report it to police.
The judge ordered Richgruber not to have contact with the woman or her friend while he is free on signature bond.
He returns to court April 5.
Richgruber has been placed on administrative leave while the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center board gathers more information.