AUSTIN EDITION Austin man pleads innocent
He is charged with felony criminal sexual conduct
By Roxana Orellana
A 27-year-old man charged with two counts of third-degree felony criminal sexual conduct pleaded innocent at the Mower District Court on Wednesday.
Ali Abdi Mohamed appeared in court with his attorney and Somalian interpreter before district judge Donald E. Rysavy.
Michael Spindler-Krage, Mohamed's attorney, asked the court to waive the right of having an omnibus hearing and for a not-guilty plea to be entered. Spindler-Krage asked for a jury trial.
Mohamed is charged with asking a 14-year-old Mower County girl for oral sex in exchange for selling her cigarettes at the North Main Street Sinclair station, according to police reports.
County Attorney Pat Flanagan told the court that attorney Spindler-Krage requested a review of medical records on mental health treatment of the girl.
Spindler-Krage said he had received information that the alleged victim had been in and out of facilities to treat mental-health issues.
Judge Rysavy approved the request after the defense voiced the grounds for the petition.
According to Spindler-Krage, the girl talked to a teacher at Ellis Middle School about two incidents. "When the police interviewed her there was no mention of the first incident. And there is no friend that has come forward," Spindler-Krage said.
In the first incident on June 11, the girl said Mohamed had said he'd sell her the cigarettes if she and a friend showed him their breasts. The girl said they complied and were sold the cigarettes. The second time, she told the police officer Mohamed asked her for oral sex in exchange for the sale.
According to the defense, police acquired a store videotape from June 11 that does not show the girl exposing herself.
If the health records are relevant, the defense said, they might reconsider asking for an omnibus hearing.
Rysavy asked Spindler-Krage to file a list of specific inquiries for the examination so that he knows what to focus on when reviewing the records.
Rysavy asked for both the list and all records to be collected and provided no later than Sept. 1.
When asked about the girl's credibility, Flanagan said, "At this point there is nothing that tells me otherwise, and that's why we pressed the charges."
The pretrial will be scheduled at least a month before the jury trial so the court can arrange interpreters if needed.
After the hearing, Spindler-Krage said his client is "holding up fine. These are very serious charges against him."
The defense attorney said he was concerned about publicity and the amount of information that was given to the press at the initial hearing at such a preliminary phase in the case.