Warrant issued for man accused of sexually assaulting child

Published 5:30 pm Friday, April 16, 2021

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of an Austin man accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl.

Rodolfo Morataya Lopez, also known as Manuel Jose Alvarez, 38, has been charged with felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration of child under 13, felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct – sexual contact with child under 13, and felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct – sexual contact – victim under 13.

According to court documents, law enforcement was dispatched at about 5:29 p.m. on Jan. 25, to the 1100 block of Eighth Avenue Southwest on a report of a sexual assault against a 5-year-old girl. A woman reported that the victim disclosed to her that Lopez, who she identified as Manuel Jose Alvarez, had sexually assaulted her.

Lopez told police that the woman who reported the abuse provided daycare for other families and that he would assist with transporting kids, including the victim. He said that the victim had left the bathroom door open while she was showering several months earlier and that he inquired who was showering, but said he did not go into the bathroom and denied ever doing anything inappropriate to her.

The reporting party told police she was about to take the victim home when another female child said that the victim told her that Lopez had touched her inappropriately. The woman said the victim “got shy” when she asked her about it and would not talk about it. When she drove the victim home, she informed the victim’s mother of the allegation, at which point they called police.

She said Lopez was “surprised” and said he did not touch the victim. She also said Lopez was sometimes alone with the children if she needed to run errands.

The victim’s mother told police that her daughter described the abuse to her when she asked her about it.

An officer spoke to the victim, who pointed to Lopez and said that he touched her inappropriately. She indicated it also happened on a previous occasion and that Lopez told her not to tell her mother.

The victim provided more details to law enforcement during an interview at the Mower County Law Enforcement Center. She said the abuse occurred in the bathroom while the reporting party was not home.

A warrant was issued for Lopez’s arrest after he failed to show for a Thursday hearing in Mower County District Court.