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Photo credit: Racine County Sheriff

The Racine County Sheriff’s Department says a 50-year-old Williams Bay man is facing child sex charges after he arranged to meet a 15-year-old boy who turned out to be a RCSD deputy.

Ronald Niehus was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with a felony charge each of child enticement, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, and second degree sex assault of a child. If convicted, he faces up to 85 years in prison and/or up to $250,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies assigned to investigate Internet crimes against children created an online persona named Erik, a 15-year-old boy, to answer ads on CraigsList. Deputies say they started corresponding March 28 with a man who wanted to arrange a sexual encounter at “Erik’s” house after his mom left.

“Erik” and the man – later identified as Niehus – arranged to meet over the weekend at a home where a Sheriff’s Department tactical team set up and waited for Niehus to arrive, the complaint reads.

Deputies say they found sex toys and condoms in Niehus’ pockets when they took him into custody, and he admitted to driving from Williams Bay to Racine County to have sex with a boy he knew was only 15. Niehus reportedly also told deputies that he planned to visit a nearby casino to gamble after having sex with the boy.

Niehus was assigned a $30,000 cash bond at his initial appearance Monday. His next court date is April 9.