Austin man pleads guilty to sexually abusing minor

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2021

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An Austin man who was charged in February with sexually abusing a minor entered a guilty plea on Monday in Mower County District Court.

Roger Leroy Conner, 29

Roger Leroy Conner, 29, pleaded guilty to felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct – victim under 13 – actor more than 36 months older – as part of a plea agreement. A charge of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct – significant relationship/multiple acts – will be dismissed at the sentencing as part of the plea.

Court documents state an Austin police detective received a child abuse intake report from the Mower County Department of Human Services on Oct. 30 regarding a 16-year-old male who had disclosed that he had been sexually abused by Conner, who was known to him, when he was about 8-years-old. The detective was familiar with Conner, who has previous convictions for criminal sexual conduct.

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During an interview with the detective and a DHS child protection worker, the victim said the abuse began in late-2011 and continued for about six to eight months. He provided details of the abuse and alleged that Conner threatened to “knock out” his teeth if he reported the abuse.

On Dec. 8, the detective spoke via telephone to Conner, who was imprisoned at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault for violating his probation on the previous sexual assault convictions. Conner denied sexually abusing the victim and, after a brief conversation, swore at the detective and ended the call.

A review of Conner’s criminal history shows two prior convictions for felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving victims under 13, as well as failing to register as a predatory offender and theft.

Conner will be sentenced on Nov. 19.