GAYLORD – In a proceeding described by the prosecution as “very rare and very unusual” the foreign exchange student accusing a rural Gibbon minister of sexually touching her during a back rub gave a swore deposition in open court Tuesday in Gaylord.
52-year-old David Radtke is charged with 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct for the incidents in May and June of this year.
Assistant Sibley County Attorney Donald Lannoye says the girl is scheduled to fly back to her home in Madrid, Spain tomorrow. The testimony is being taken now in case she is not able to return for the trial scheduled for August 30th.
“We’ve made arrangement for her to return and she says she will,” said Lannoye. The girl was served with a subpoena. The county will pay for the girl’s travel costs to come back for the trial.
During questioning by Radtke’s attorney Paul Engh, the victim said she “was dreaming when she felt things.”
“It wasn’t a good dream,” said the girl.
Lannoye later asked the girl to clarify.
“It’s not I was dream…I was sleeping. I was feeling something.”
In Spanish she continued to explain.
Translated by the interpreter, she told the court “very unpleasant sensation, very confusing…all of a sudden I woke up feeling something inside me.”
At times the girl struggled to explain herself fully in English. An interpreter, who was relaying the proceedings to the girl’s father during questioning, would step in, allowing her to answer in Spanish.
The girl was questioned about why she never personally came forward. She confirmed that she told two friends who later went to GFW High School staff. It was the school that called authorities.
In particular, the girl was hesitant to tell Radtke’s wife about the extent of what allegedly happened.
“I was scared,” said the girl. “She still believe in him…thought he was a good guy.”
The girl says Radtke apologized.
According to the girl’s testimony, Radtke came into her room saying he sinned and asked her to forgive him.
“I said nothing (to him),” said the girl.
She also says the next day while riding to school with Radtke’s son he apologized for when his dad did.
The girl says Radtke gave her around ten backrubs.
“He felt my butt. I thought it was a mistake.”
Asked by Lannoye if she still believed they were mistakes?
“No.” said the girl.
Radtke Hearing on New Charge Continued
In the middle of the deposition, Radtke appeared for a hearing on a new set of charges filed last Friday.
He is accused of using the girl’s phone to monitor her email activity once she was removed from the home after the initial charges.
Investigators say Radtke obtained the girl’s cell phone and pin number with the help of the local coordinators of the exchange group in charge of the placement.
When she was removed from the home, she was placed with Steven and Jill Burns, EF coordinators for the local area. Steven Burns allegedly told the girl he needed the phone to turn it over to police. His wife Jill then obtained the pin from the girl. The phone wasn’t give to police, but was returned to Radtke.
The phone belongs to Radtke and there is an agreement with the exchange foundation allowing host family’s access to monitor online and email activity.
But Assistant County Attorney Donald Lannoye believes that agreement ended once the girl was removed from their care and became stalking and harassment.
Today’s hearing was continued and will be held along with a hearing next week on the criminal sexual conduct charges.
Radtke was free after posting a $10,000 cash bond on the latest charges.