Chippewa County man arrested two years after Mower County child molestation warrant issued

(ABC 6 News) – A Montevideo man faces charges of molesting a 5-year-old after being arrested on a Mower County warrant Aug. 12.

Rodolfo Morataya Lopez, 41, was accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old Austin girl in March of 2021.

The Mower County Attorney’s Office charged Lopez with felony 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct–includes penetration with a child; 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct–sexual conduct with a child; and 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct–sexual contact with a child.

According to court documents, Austin police originally questioned Lopez in January of 2021, when a woman reported that a child said Lopez had touched her inappropriately.

The woman and the child’s mother both spoke to the child about the alleged assault, then called the police.

According to court records, Lopez, who also went by the name Manuel Jose Alvarez while living in Austin, denied any inappropriate contact with the child.

Austin police told Lopez to avoid any contact with the children, and he agreed to find another place to live.

According to Minnesota court records, the charges were filed March 11, 2021. When Lopez failed to appear in court April 15, Mower County issued an arrest warrant.

According to Mower County Jail records, Lopez was taken to the jail on Aug. 12, 2023.

He is currently held in the Mower County Jail on $250,000 bail with no conditions, or $125,000 bail with conditions, including GPS monitoring and no unsupervised contact with persons under age 18.

Lopez is scheduled to appear again in Mower County Court Aug. 28.