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Charges: Trail of Terror supervisor raped 15-year-old employee

The victim called out her rapist in a conversation between them on Snapchat years after the assault and he admitted to what he did, the complaint says.

A former supervisor at Trail of Terror is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in 2013. 

Bryan E. Ellinger, 31, of Shakopee, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the incident that happened between Oct. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013. 

According to the criminal complaint, on Nov. 13, 2020, a Shakopee police officer responded to a report of a past sexual assault. The victim explained that she worked at Trail of Terror in 2013, when she was 15 years old and had a crush on her manager, Ellinger, who was 24 years old at the time. 

During the last week of October 2013, she told him she thought he was attractive and he kissed her, charges state. The next week, they went to a display at Trail of Terror, when they had intercourse.

The victim said Ellinger knew she was 15 and that he had a history of sexual relationships with younger women and girls who worked at the Shakopee Halloween attraction, the complaint notes.

She told police they had a sexual relationship for two to four months, including at his home and during a visit to a hotel in which he raped her while she was passed out from alcohol and others watched, the complaint states.

She was embarrassed about what happened but still had feelings for Ellinger, which she, as an adult realized, was due to her inexperience, the complaint said. 

The victim ended the relationship in February 2014, with Ellinger reaching back out to her about six months later, charges say. She then cut all communication with him for the next seven years. 

Then, in September 2020, Ellinger contacted the victim via Snapchat, with the victim accepting the friend request not knowing it was Ellinger, the complaint says.

In those messages, Ellinger admitted to the sexual assaults and underage relationship, charges detail. The victim took screenshots of the messages in which she said, among other things, "you raped me ... in front of everybody" in the hotel room and said he, as the older person, had the responsibility of telling her that a relationship between them isn't appropriate. She also called him a predator to which he said, "Yeah, I really was not going to lie."

On Nov. 18, 2020, police spoke with Ellinger, who said he'd worked at Trail of Terror for 10 years, including in 2013, and confirmed he had Snapchat conversations with the victim, the complaint says.

He told police he reached out to the victim to ask for forgiveness about what he'd done and explained some details of their relationship, the complaint says. When asked why he provided alcohol to a 15-year-old, he said, "Come on, teenagers like to party."

Ellinger couldn't remember details from the hotel room, the complaint said, but did admit to sending the victim nude pictures of himself. 

The complaint says Ellinger was an adjudicated delinquent in 2008 for third-degree criminal sexual conduct for victims aged 13-15 when he was more than 24 months older and indecent exposure. In 2009, he was convicted of failing to register as a predatory offender. 

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