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Mountain Lake man admits to molesting children

WINDOM -- Bail was set at $50,000 with conditions for a 19-year-old Mountain Lake man who admitted to molesting children in the area over the past several years.

Jose Jamie Ledezma Mendoza is charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Cottonwood County District Court.

The criminal complaint, filed Thursday, states a woman contacted the Mountain Lake Police Department when the person who babysits her 11-year-old son said he had made comments about being touched in a bad way. The mother had spoken to her son, who told her the bad man would kill her if he told anyone what had happened.

An officer spoke with the child, who described the house where Mendoza lives, identifying him by first name only. The boy cried and said he was afraid to say more because Mendoza had said he would kill the boy's mother. Eventually, he stated Mendoza had pulled him into a barn and molested him. He tried to fight, he said, but Mendoza was too big.

The molestation had first happened over a year ago, but had happened other times since, said the victim, adding that Mendoza would text or call him and invite him to do things, like go to concerts and school events.

When asked when the last time was that he saw Mendoza, the child said he had come to his daycare that day and talked to him while the boy was playing on the playground outside.

"I am familiar with (Mendoza) and have seen him walking around town with (the victim) before, and have seen him around younger kids on many occasions," the officer wrote in his report.

Mendoza was arrested and brought to the police department, where he agreed to speak to the officer.

The complaint states Mendoza was hesitant to speak about the child at first, but eventually said he feels like he sometimes blacks out and does things he does not want to do. He said he cannot control his actions and feels like he is outside his body watching himself do these things. He told the officer it felt like someone was standing behind him saying, "Do this or I'll kill you."

He allegedly admitted to molesting the boy in question and that he wanted to stop, but couldn't.

Mendoza indicated it had happened with other children, also. He admitted to raping an 8-year-old boy who has since moved away, and a 9-year-old boy and his younger brother. He didn't know where the brothers live now, he said, explaining that he would grab them near the staircase of their apartment building and touch them.

There was also a 12-year-old child who came from New York to visit a family at the same apartment building, Mendoza said, and he "blacked out for two times." He said there was another child he had raped that he had known since he was 13 years old, and the incident took place July 5, 2011, when the boy was walking to church.

During a bail hearing Thursday morning, the judge set bail at $100,000 without conditions, and $50,000 with the conditions Mendoza has no contact with the initial victim or any child under the age of 18 years old, that he abstain from drugs and alcohol and remain law-abiding.

A public defender has been appointed.