Trial begins for Albert Lea man in Mower County sex abuse case

Published 8:16 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The trial of a man accused of sexually molesting a small child in 2015 is underway in Mower County District Court.

Carlos F. Fernandez, 68, of Albert Lea faces three felony counts of criminal sexual conduct.

The first charge is first-degree criminal sexual conduct, sexual penetration, victim under 13; and two charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, sexual contact with a victim under 13.

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According to the complaint, Fernandez, 68, is accused of having sexual contact with the victim for whom he babysat in March 2012. Austin authorities were given information about the alleged abuse when the boy was 6 years old, but the abuse is alleged to have happened when he was 3 or 4 years old.

Parents of the child were apparently aware of the allegations a year before authorities received the information and did not allow Fernandez, who was living in Austin at the time, to have contact with the boy.

The boy disclosed the alleged abuse when he refused to go to the defendant’s home. The victim’s mother said Fernandez admitted he has abused the boy on three occasions.

Fernandez has denied all allegations.