Lopez and Huff

On March, 27, Menomonie attorney Charles Huff (right) appeared for the last time with his client, Ted Lopez, after Dunn County Judge Rod Smeltzer granted a motion for Huff to withdraw from the case.

At a motion hearing, the attorney representing the former Boyceville man charged facing multiple charges involving child sexual assault asked to be able to withdraw from the case.

Released from jail on a $55,000 cash bond in June 2017, Ted Lopez, 40, of Menomonie failed to appear in Dunn County Circuit Court on July 17, 2017 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. In early March, the FBI located Lopez hiding in Staples, Minn. under the alias of Tony Luzon, and he was extradited to Dunn County Jail where he remains in custody on a $1 million cash bond.

On March 27, attorney Charles Huff of the Menomonie firm Mayer & Huff, S.C. explained to Dunn County Judge Rod Smeltzer that before Lopez’s disappearance, he had retained Huff’s services as a private pay client. Since his incarceration, however, Lopez cannot afford to pay an attorney and now qualifies for a public defender, resulting in Huff’s request to withdraw.

Asked by the judge if he had anything to say, Lopez responded, “I’d like to apologize for my absence. ... I’ve been going through a lot of fear and emotions. ... I’m here to make a positive result of these cases as fast as possible.”

Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf raised concerns about further delays given that some of the cases against Lopez date back to 2016. Smeltzer, however, granted the motion and asked Huff to discuss the case with the public defender’s office.

A status conference has already been set for Monday, April 23.

About the case

In several separate cases, Lopez faces multiple felony charges for alleged incidents that took place between January 2009 and December 2014 when he resided in the village of Boyceville. He faces felony counts in two cases — all as a repeat offender with lifetime supervision — that include repeated sexual assault of a child, mental harm to a child, sexual exploitation of a child-filming, causing a child under 13 to view/listen to sexual activity, child enticement (and with sexual contact), exposing a child to harmful material and exposing intimate part to a child.

An additional 16 counts of child pornography were added in May 2017 and incorporated into a criminal complaint that was filed when Lopez was arrested in September 2016.

According to the amended complaint:

A search warrant was executed at Lopez’s home in the village of Boyceville after he was arrested on Aug. 30, 2016.

During the search, Boyceville Police Chief Gregory Lamkin seized a number of electronic devices that were located throughout the house. In the basement, he noticed a cardboard wall decorated as a mural. Behind the wall, the chief discovered a computer tower as well as a stash of alcohol and small box of condoms.

The computer was turned over to a Menomonie Police Department investigator to be processed. The hard drive revealed more than 3,000 images of child pornography featuring explicit photos of pre-pubescent through 14- and 15-year-old girls created between April 2012 and February 2013 and accessed in November 2014.

On June 9, 2016, Boyceville Police Chief Gregory Lamkin received reports from a social worker regarding a sexual assault investigation. The boy said Lopez fondled him many times. The boy said there were around 20 instances of sexual contact.

Lamkin received another report from a second social worker on July 18 about another boy being abused.

The boy told investigators he was under age 10 when Lopez began showing him pornography on his computer tablet. The boy said the images showed teen-aged and possibly younger boys and girls engaged in sexual acts.

In another Dunn County case, Lopez allegedly lifted up an 8-year-old girl’s shirt and took photographs of her chest. The girl told investigators that he tried to talk her and her older sister she said Lopez described as “hot” to get into his car, offering them a ride home which they declined.

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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