A Diocese of Madison pastoral associate in the DeForest parish made his initial appearance in court Monday on charges of child enticement and sexual assault of a child by a person who works with children.

MADISON, Wis. — A Diocese of Madison pastoral associate in the DeForest parish made his initial appearance in court Monday on charges of child enticement and sexual assault of a child by a person who works with children.

According to a criminal complaint filed Monday, Rajnal “Reggie” Rehmat is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 17-year-old female parishioner in the DeForest parish on multiple occasions beginning shortly after they met in July 2022. Rehmat was listed as a pastoral associate for St. Olaf’s church, but served others in the parish as well.

The victim reported that the two first met through the church where he was a “priest in training” and helped preside over the church the victim’s family attended. The victim said that the relationship began with the two exchanging “innocent” texts which became “progressively more awkward” with him asking to see her room and if her parents were home. Rehmat allegedly began sending the victim more suggestive messages and asking her for explicit photos.

The complaint said that the two met up in parks on multiple occasions where groping and other inappropriate sexual contact took place. It also states that the inappropriate contact continued in messages and video calls.

The victim reported that Rehmat knew she was a minor throughout all of the incidents and had told her he had a “countdown” until she turned 18 because he “knew it was illegal.”

According to the complaint, information about the incidents was reported anonymously to Child Protective Services in Dane County after the victim told a friend about the incidents.

The Diocese of Madison said in a statement that they had been made aware of the accusations on Sunday, November 28 and that they immediately notified law enforcement and put Rehmat on administrative leave. They also confirmed that Rehmat had arrived in Madison from Pakistan in June to work at the Diocese of Madison as a religious brother.

Court officials set a $5,000 cash bond for Rehmat on Monday, with stipulations of no contact with his victim and to relinquish his passport.