Former Eau Claire Regional Arts Center director enters plea deal

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The former executive director of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center who was charged with sexual assault has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Ben Richgruber was formerly charged with third degree sexual assault in February of last year but Tuesday in court, those charges were amended to Lewd and Lascivious behavior through a plea offer from prosecutors.

Richgruber agreed to a deferred acceptance of a guilty plea to the lesser charge, which is a misdemeanor. The one year agreement terms include undergoing a sex offender assessment and complying with any recommended counseling or treatment.

According to the criminal complaint, the original sexual assault charge stems from two, unwanted sexual acts which took place inside Richgruber's office at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center in June 2016.

Prosecutors say the victim in this case is in agreement with the new plea deal. Richgruber must also pay a fine and commit no further crimes.

His next hearing will be June 11, 2020. If he's still in full compliance with the terms of his plea agreement the charges will be dropped.