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AUSTIN EDITION -- Man accused of molesting 11-year-old requests hearing

By Amy Olson

aolson@postbulletin.com

An Austin man accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl has asked for a hearing before his arraignment.

James E. Wempner, 19, is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and seven counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Wempner appeared in Mower District Court on Thursday with his attorney, Evan Larson, who asked Judge Donald Rysavy to schedule a hearing to review evidence in the case.

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According to the complaint, Wempner's brother contacted Austin police Dec. 31 after he saw Wempner kissing a 14-year-old girl. The 14-year-old girl told authorities Wempner inappropriately touched her several times in Mankato.

Police then learned about the 11-year-old victim and the alleged molestation in Austin.

Other authorities are reviewing the allegations involving the 14-year-old.

Wempner is in the Mower County Jail on $50,000 bail. His next court appearance is set for April 5. If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Wempner would face 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.

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