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Mell makes first court appearance in Pipestone

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PIPESTONE -- A man accused of raping an 11-year-old child made a court appearance Tuesday in Pipestone County District Court.

Richard Trevor Mell, 42, was arrested last week on a warrant after a count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct was charged against him earlier this month.

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The complaint states an officer spoke with the young victim last fall when her father reported his daughter had been raped sometime during the year 2007. The child was brought to Child's Voice in Sioux Falls, S.D., where she was interviewed by a forensic specialist.

The victim said she was at her father's house in Pipestone while the rest of the family had gone out. Mell, who was her father's roommate, was also home.

Within a half-hour of her family leaving, the girl said, Mell took off her clothes and raped her. She screamed, she said, and he told her to "shut up" and stop screaming. While she was screaming, her family pulled up in the driveway and the girl escaped to her room.

On the complaint, Mell's current address is listed as unknown, but on other court documents, Mell supposedly lived in Sioux City, Iowa.

On Friday, Mell's request for a public defender was granted and bail was set at $100,000. Tuesday he made a first appearance with attorney Terry Vajgrt.

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