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Wadena man charged with sex crime

A man is charged in Cass County with felony gross sexual imposition for an alleged incident with a 4-year-old boy.

Ronald Timothy Frutiger, 19, Wadena, is accused of performing oral sex on the boy. Frutiger made his first appearance last week in Cass County District Court on the Class AA felony, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.

Fargo police said Frutiger, an acquaintance of the family, was staying in the home at the time of the incident, in late July.

The boy told his adoptive parents about it two weeks later, according to court documents. The boy's mother confronted Frutiger. Police were called on Sunday.

Such a time lag isn't unusual, Police Sgt. Jeff Skuza said earlier this week.

"Children won't typically disclose right away," he said.

Court documents show Frutiger called police several hours after the parents talked with officers and turned himself in.

He admitted to police that he had sexual contact with the boy, court documents say.

Frutiger's bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond, and he was ordered not to contact the boy. His next appearance was set for Sept. 14.

The North Dakota Legislature ratcheted the penalty a year ago for certain gross sexual imposition charges involving forcible rape or victims under age 15, Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Aaron Birst said.

Of the two, AA felony charges related to victims under age 15 are more common, he said.