Oakland man pleads not guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges

Published 10:16 pm Thursday, September 13, 2018

An Oakland man who allegedly engaged in inappropriate conduct with a 4-year-old girl in August pleaded not guilty Thursday in Freeborn County District Court.

Fortino Zarate

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

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.

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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.

In a separate file, Zarate pleaded not guilty to fourth-degree assault on a peace officer; fourth-degree assault on a correctional employee, probation officer, prosecutor or judge; and obstructing the legal process.

Omnibus hearings in the two files are scheduled for Oct. 10.


See what happened last night in the PM report here.

About Sam Wilmes

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

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