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Man gets prison for groping girl

A 37-year-old Austin man is headed to prison for groping a 12-year-old after the girl photographed the assault with a cell phone and sent Facebook messages to a woman asking for help.

Jesus Detomas Perales was sentenced to four years and three months in prison — with credit for 290 days served — this week in Mower County District Court for one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct after reaching a plea agreement in March.

Jesus Detomas Perales

According to court documents, officers responded to the area around Neveln Elementary School around 1:15 a.m. on Aug. 15 for a report of a man who’d groped a girl and then followed her down Fifth Avenue Northeast.

The victim told officers she’d been staying with Perales, a family friend, and arrived at his house at 9 p.m.

She told police she was in bed wearing shorts and a jersey over a bikini while playing video games and chatting with friends on a cell phone when Perales started fondling her, touching under the bikini. Perales reportedly pulled the girl’s shorts off.

She told police she was “in shock” when the incident happened and didn’t know what to do, but she sent a Facebook message to an adult female asking for help and photographed the assault with the cell phone.

She reportedly put on a pair of Perales’ shorts before fleeing the residence to meet the adult woman near Neveln, where the woman called police. However, Perales reportedly followed her down the street before he and the woman had words.

Officers arrived and viewed photographs of Perales kissing the victim’s thigh and touching her pelvic area.

According to court records, Perales told police he followed her because he felt responsible for her. But he later admitted to fondling the victim, telling police it “just happened,” but he denied touching her pelvic area.