WAUKESHA -- Reotha Cole was bound over for trial on Friday, April 19 on multiple charges associated with the alleged sexual assault of two teens at the Ethan Allen Residential Facility in the Town of Delafield. Cole was the facility's chaplain and choir instructor at the time of the alleged crimes.
Cole faces the following criminal charges:
- 2nd degree sexual assault of a child (five counts)
- Sexual assault of a child in residential care center by facility worker or volunteer (two counts)
According to the criminal complaint against Cole, the alleged crimes came to light in May 2017 when an inmate at the Green Bay Correctional Facility disclosed to the facility's psychologist that when he was a resident at Ethan Allen, "he was sexually assaulted by that facility's chaplain." The inmate identified the chaplain as Cole. When questioned by authorities about this allegation, the complaint says Cole "denied sexually assaulting (the victim)."
In November 2017, detectives traveled to Green Bay Correctional Institution and spoke with the initial accuser. That person indicated he was at Ethan Allen from roughly 2005 to at least April 2007 -- and he was in his teens. The alleged victim told authorities about two separate instances when he was 15 years old (in 2006) in which he was approached and touched inappropriately by Cole after choir practice. The victim told police "he was scared and did not know what to do." The teen also indicated he "was too embarrassed and scared to say anything about this to anybody." The victim indicated when speaking with detectives that "he was disclosing this information for the first time to anyone."
In spring 2018, a detective following up on the allegations against Cole spoke with another former resident of Ethan Allen. That person indicated he was a resident in 2001 and 2002 -- and that he had also attended choir practices. This second resident described three separate instances in which he believed Cole had inappropriate contact with him. He, like the first victim that spoke with authorities, indicated this was the first time he had talked to anyone about these incidents.
On Friday, A Waukesha County Sheriff's Department detective testified in Cole's preliminary hearing. Following that testimony, the court found probable cause that a felony was committed and bound Cole over for trial.
Cole is due back in court on May 1 to enter pleas to the charges against him.