Man pleads not-guilty to case two years after being charged

Published 6:39 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

A man who had avoided arrest for two years on an outstanding warrant for criminal sexual conduct with a minor has entered pleas in the case.

Rodolfo Orataya Lopez, 41, has pleaded not guilty in Mower County District Court to felony first degree criminal sexual conduct penetration of a child under 13, first degree criminal sexual conduct – sexual contact with child under 13 and felony second degree criminal sexual conduct-sexual contact victim under 13.

He has also requested a speedy trial and will next be in court on Oct. 2 for a pretrial hearing.

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According to court documents, Lopez was charged in 2021 with sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl. The Austin Police Department was first made aware of the alleged assaults on Jan. 25, 2021. When an officer made contact, Lopez was at the house and indicated he lived at the residence.  Lopez denied the allegations and officers advised Lopez to not have contact with any of the children, and he agreed to find another place to live.

According to the court documents, the victim’s mother and another woman called police after hearing of the allegations and the victim told police about the incidents.

After being arrested in March of 2021, Lopez failed to show up for a subsequent hearing on April 15, 2021. A warrant was issued that day.

Lopez remains in the Mower County Jail, held on $250,000 with no conditions and $125,000.