A 44-year-old Lodi man has been charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child under 13 and incest in Columbia County.

He faces up to 60 years in prison for the felony assault and up to 40 years in prison for felony incest with a child.

The defendant is in custody on a $25,000 cash bond and has a preliminary hearing July 10 in Columbia County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, on June 19 a Columbia County Sheriff’s detective observed an interview of the victim who reported to a social worker that she lives with her mother, father and two brothers. The victim reported that her father, three weeks prior to the interview, had pulled down his pants and underwear and inappropriately touched her. The father had turned on a movie for her brothers, and her mother was not home. The father carried the victim to an upstairs bedroom and told the victim not to tell anyone. The victim said this was not the first time this had happened and that her father had told her in the past not to tell anyone.

The complaint states the victim told two family members about the incident. The detective observed an interview with one of the victim’s brothers who reported that “something bad happened” between his father and his sister. The witness said whenever his mother is gone, his father and sister would be upstairs. Two days prior to the interview, the victim had approached him with a “deep dark secret.” The witness recorded on his phone what the victim told him to prove it was not a joke.

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