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La Crosse man accused of prowling North Side neighborhood

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A La Crosse man was charged Monday in La Crosse County Circuit Court after he was accused of exposing himself to a child last year and being a Peeping Tom during the weekend.

Ricky L. Melton, 48, faces up to 3 and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 after he was charged with exposing his genitals in connection with an incident Oct. 25, 2018. He was also charged with misdemeanor invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct as a repeat offender.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman entered a bedroom in her apartment about 6:28 a.m. Oct. 25 to find Melton standing over a four-year-old girl with his pants down and an erect penis. She asked Melton, ‘What the (expletive) are you doing?” and grabbed the girl and a baby at the apartment and left to report the incident.

Ricky Melton mug

Melton

Melton denied any wrongdoing, according to the complaint.

Melton was arrested last weekend after the La Crosse Police Department responded to a prowler complaint about 5:05 a.m. Aug. 9. Someone on the 800 block of St. James Street reported a man in all black clothes and a black backpack looking into windows, according to police.

According to the police report, officers found Melton dressed in all black in the area, as well as a black backpack with lotion and a rag inside. Melton told police he was out for a run and stopped to pull up his socks in someone’s doorway, and then fled when a security light came on.

Melton said he stopped to smoke marijuana while on his run and dumped the bag because he was worried there would be marijuana residue inside, according to the report. He also told police he didn’t know the distance of his usual run, and he typically smokes pot while out running.

Melton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of lewd and lascivious behavior in January 2017 and has been found guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, receiving stolen property, invasion of privacy and felony burglary dating back to 2012.

Melton was released Monday on a $2,500 signature bond and forbidden to have contact with St. James Street or any minors except as a function of his job.


Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering crime and courts for the La Crosse Tribune. She can be reached at 608-791-8218.

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