WORTHINGTON — A local resident was placed in police custody after a child reported that he had sexually assaulted them a few years ago.
The victim is currently under 13 years old. They told police that when Flaviano Lopez-Lopez, 26, was living with their family six years ago, he sexually assaulted them. The graphic account included a statement that Lopez-Lopez had put something in the victim's mouth to stop them from screaming.
The victim said they had not told anyone at the time of the alleged incident because Lopez-Lopez had told them that nobody would believe the word of a child.
When officers interviewed Lopez-Lopez, he reportedly said he remembered the events recounted by the victim and admitted to having touched them "everywhere," but said the victim had initiated the sexual contact while playing.
In a forensic interview at the Worthington Child Advocacy Center, the victim detailed multiple occasions in which Lopez-Lopez had allegedly touched the victim inappropriately.
Lopez-Lopez was arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine for each charge. Iif he's convicted, actual sentencing will be based on criminal history.
He is being held in Nobles County Jail on bail set at $20,000 with conditions or $40,000 without.
The Southwest Crisis Center is available in our community to support and empower survivors of sexual and domestic violence. For questions about services or how you can help, contact the Southwest Crisis Center at 1-800-376-4311 or mnswcc.org.