St. James man accused of sexually assaulting ward

A St. James man is accused of sexually assaulting a teen girl under his care.

Gustavo Adolfo Vidales, 28, was charged Wednesday in Watonwan County Court with four counts of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

According to a criminal complaint, a 13-year-old girl reported that Vidales, who is her guardian, had been abusing her since Oct 2020, with the most recent abuse occurring in Jan 2021.

The teen came forward after the mother of Vidales’ young child – and also guardian to the teen – confided to her sister that the child said someone had touched her inappropriately.  Court documents say Vidales had responded by telling the child that she never had to talk about it again, which struck the mother as odd.

The family went to confront Vidales at his home, where he was still with the child, then called the police, says the complaint.

The teen victim told investigators of a half-dozen assaults by Vidales in which he fondled her and forced her into various sexual acts, including one instance in the car while traveling to and from a holiday light show.

Vidales initially denied the accusations but eventually told detectives he would not deny anything the victim accused him of doing.


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