Monday, September 24, 2018

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Eau Claire arts center leader resigns in wake of sex assault charge

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    The State Theatre, 316 Eau Claire St.

    Staff photo by Steve Kinderman
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    Contributed photo

The executive director of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, which includes The State Theatre, resigned Friday from his position, according to a statement from the organization.

The center’s board of directors had placed Benjamin M. Richgruber, 39, on paid administrative leave a week ago in reaction to his arrest Feb. 13. Richgruber was charged Monday in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of third-degree sexual assault.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman told Eau Claire police Jan. 7 that she was sexually assaulted in June 2016 by Richgruber at his office after a night of drinking with friends in downtown Eau Claire. The woman said she was afraid to go to police at the time because of Richgruber’s status in the community.

Richgruber, 1628 Fairway St., is free on bond and is scheduled to return to court April 5.

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