• 59°

Austin man pleads guilty to sexually abusing child

An Austin man currently on probation for a previous criminal sexual conduct conviction had a plea hearing in another case on Monday in Mower County DIstrict Court.

Colin Charles Belden, 23

Colin Charles Belden, 23, pleaded guilty to felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct – child under 13 years of age – as part of a plea agreement.

Another charge of felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct – child under 13 years of age –  and two counts each of felony attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct – child under 13 years of age – and felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct – significant relationship – child under 16 years of age – multiple acts – will be dismissed at the sentencing as part of the agreement.

Court documents state that on March 3, 2020, a Mower County detective interviewed a teen girl who disclosed that Belden, who was known to her, had been sexually assaulting her. She said the abuse began when she was 5 years old and occurred frequently until January 2020.

She reported the abuse involved him inappropriately touching her and him getting her to perform sexual acts on him when she was too young to understand what was going on. She also alleged that he had held her down and indicated he wanted to have sex with her, but she punched and kicked him to prevent him from doing so.

A review of Belden’s criminal history shows a prior conviction for felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Belden will be sentenced on Jan. 7.