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Man faces sex charge, allegedly abused young child

WILLMAR — Luis Fernando Escobar Chilel, 24, of Willmar, made his first court appearance Thursday on a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge for allegedly abusing a young child.

Unconditional bail was set at $70,000. His next appearance is March 17.

According to the complaint, Willmar police were called Saturday to a residence on a report that a man had done something to a child and that the child needed to go to the hospital.

With the help of an interpreter, a man and a woman reported that Escobar and a 5-year-old girl were found in a closet with the child partially unclothed and Escobar in the act of removing his clothing. The girl complained of pain and was taken to Rice Memorial Hospital to be examined. Her clothing was taken for evidence and she was also interviewed later by a social worker.

The investigation revealed that Escobar had come to the residence, where he hangs out to watch sports with the man reporting the incident, with a 12-pack of beer. The man had taken a shower and the woman and another younger child had gone to bed, leaving the girl with Escobar. The woman couldn’t find the girl, so she went looking and found the girl and Escobar in the closet.

Police interviewed Escobar, who gave a statement via an interpreter. He said he had drank 16 beers and admitted to being in the closet with the girl and that some of her clothing was removed, but that he didn’t know how it got that way.

He allegedly said that if they hadn’t found him and the girl, “it would have been a bigger mistake” and that he was going to have sexual contact with the girl. However, he denied any contact with the girl other than touching her on her wrist.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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