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Willmar man faces sex charges for alleged assault of 5-year-old girl a decade ago

WILLMAR -- Tomas Hernandez Lopez, 40, of Willmar, made his first court appearance Tuesday on three first-degree cr-iminal sexual conduct charges for allegedly molesting a 5-year-old girl ten years ago.

Unconditional bail was set at $200,000. Conditional bail is $100,000.

His next appearance is Sept. 13.

According to the complaint, Willmar police officers responded to a 911 call on May 6, 2000, at an apartment complex on the city's northeast side. A woman there reported her daughter had learned another girl had been sexually assaulted.

Officers went to the alleged victim's home, where she confirmed she had told the other girl of the assault. Lopez was identified as the alleged perpetrator. He was located and taken to the Law Enforcement Center. Through an interpreter, he denied the assault.

The girl was interviewed by an investigator and social worker, and told them Lopez had sexually assaulted her multiple times. She also used anatomically correct dolls to show what Lopez had done to her.

An adult relative of the girl told investigators they had lived with Lopez for a period of time in 1999 before moving to their own apartment. Lopez had moved into the same apartment a week prior and was said to have been alone with the girl while her parents were shopping.

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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