Editor’s note: With respect to the victim’s identity, the victim is identified by the pronoun ‘they.’ All uses of ‘they/them’ should be understood as a singular person.

WORTHINGTON - Criminal charges were filed this week against a Worthington man for allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulting a juvenile at a Worthington church.

Adrian Velazquez was arrested last week in relation to criminal sexual conduct that was initially reported in 2016. The matter was unable to be investigated because his whereabouts were unknown for several years, the complaint states.

In an interview with law enforcement, the victim stated that Velazquez had sexually assaulted them “nearly every time” they attended service. Velazquez allegedly made threats so the victim would not report the assaults, the complaint states.

When the assault was brought to the attention of the church, Velazquez was removed from the church. In a post-arrest interview with law enforcement, Velazquez denied the sexual assault accusations.

Velazquez faces first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which under Minnesota State Law carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment, a $40,000 fine or both.

His conditional bail was scheduled at $20,000 and unconditional at $20,000.

The Southwest Crisis Center is a resource for anyone with questions about a relationship in their life. The SWCC can help explore options for anyone who has experienced domestic or sexual violence and offers free, confidential, 24/7 services. Call 1-800-376-4311.