Man charged with inappropriate conduct

Published 10:05 pm Monday, August 27, 2018

An Oakland man who allegedly engaged in inappropriate conduct with a 4-year-old girl last week was charged with a felony Friday in Freeborn County District Court.

Fortino Zarate, 28, is charged with felony false imprisonment and gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Fortino Zarate

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Court documents state Zarate was charged after the alleged victim was dropped off by her mother at a neighboring house Aug. 21 so she could play.

A witness who owned the house said Zarate knocked on his door and, after a short conversation, walked into the living room where the children were playing, where the adult witness could not see.     

Court documents state Zarate, who lived near the residence, allegedly picked the girl up in his arms, left the residence and brought her to a room in his house. He allegedly pulled down the girl’s pants, and she left after he exited the room.

The witness said he walked toward Zarate’s house and heard the alleged victim tell him to stop and she wanted to go home.

The girl came back to her mother’s house after the alleged incident occurred visibly upset, and  Zarate, a neighbor, allegedly said, “She’s going to try and tell you that I took the clothes off her,” according to court documents.

Judge Steven Schwab set conditional bail at $50,000, contingent on Zarate engaging in no assaultive behavior, having no contact with the alleged victim or her family, submitting to random testing and following other court requirements.

As of Monday afternoon, Zarate was in custody.

Zarate’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 13.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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