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Charges: Former Trail Of Terror Manager Sexually Assaulted 15-Year-Old Employee In 2013

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Shakopee man faces charges of repeatedly sexually assaulting an employee he managed at a popular Halloween attraction who, at the time, was 15, according to a criminal complaint.

Bryan Ellinger, who was 24 at the time of the 2013 assaults, is charged with first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

According to the complaint, the victim reported the assault in November 2020. She said while working at Trail of Terror in 2013, she had a crush on Ellinger, her manager, and the two began a "sexual relationship" that lasted two to four months.

The weekend after Halloween 2013, the complaint states, the victim went with Ellinger and several friends to stay the night in a hotel room, where they gave her alcohol and showed her pornography.

The victim said she "became so intoxicated she passed out on the bed," and awoke to find Ellinger sexually assaulting her while other people watched. She then passed out again.

The relationship between Ellinger and the victim ended in February 2014, and the two had little contact for the next seven years. Ellinger reached out to the victim via Snapchat in 2020, the complaint states.

In that conversation, Ellinger apologized for "playing with [the victim's] feelings" and for "leading [her] on" and "sleeping with [her]." The victim accused Ellinger of raping her "in front of everybody."

Ellinger admitted he had "no excuses," and when the victim called him a "predator," he said, "Yea, I really was not going to lie," according to the complaint.

When contacted by a detective, Ellinger admitted to a "sexual relationship" with the victim, though he said he did not remember much of the "drunken night" at the hotel.

The detective asked Ellinger why he would give alcohol to a 15-year-old girl, and Ellinger allegedly replied, "Come on, teenagers like to party." The complaint states Ellinger "did not dispute the age or seem surprised."

Ellinger worked at Trail of Terror for 10 years, but is no longer employed there. He has a previous criminal sexual conduct case on his record, and told police he was required to register as a predatory offender. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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