Friday, December 20, 2013

Dad charged with sexually assaulting 7- and 9-year-old daughters during weekend visitation (Columbus, Nebraska)

Another UNNAMED DAD who never should have been granted any custodial access, but was.

Man accused of sexually assaulting children

COLUMBUS — A 38-year-old rural Columbus man on Thursday pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting his 9- and 7-year-old daughters during weekend visitations at his home in October.

Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke scheduled the rural city man for a Feb. 3 jury trial and rejected a defense request to lower the defendant's bond.

The defendant, who is not being identified to protect the privacy of the victims, is charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child. He has been in custody at the Platte County Detention Facility since his mid-November arrest.

Public Defender Tim Matas, describing his client as a lifelong Nebraskan with no prior felony convictions, asked for a bond reduction from 10 percent of $250,000 to 10 percent of $25,000.

"My client is extremely indigent and in no way can post the (current) bond," Matas said.

The defendant's bond as previously set is "reasonable," Steinke said, and will be continued.

The sexual assault charges are all Class IB felonies, each punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment and a minimum of 20 years in prison.

Court documents describe an investigation that got under way after the Platte County Sheriff’s Office received information from a state agency alleging child abuse and neglect involving the defendant and his children.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services report included allegations of sexual abuse involving the defendant taking baths with his minor biological daughters, said Sheriff’s Investigator Dane Jensen in his statement supporting an arrest warrant.

Jensen said one of the daughters disclosed to her mother that their father had been taking baths with her and her sister. The defendant is not the custodial parent of the children and has been divorced from their mother for five years.

The defendant had visitation rights with the children every other weekend.

During recorded forensic interviews at the Child Advocacy Center in Norfolk, Jensen said the girls described explicit sexual acts their father committed during their visitations to his home. The investigator said one of the victims said her father told her not to tell anyone about the sexual activity.

Jensen said the defendant denied all allegations of sexual activity with his daughters.