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Man accused of assault takes case to trial

AUSTIN — An Austin man accused of sexually assaulting a girl repeatedly over the course of several years has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Ricky Wolpahgan, 38, entered the pleas Thursday in Mower County District Court, where he's been charged with six counts of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He remains in custody in lieu of $125,000 conditional bail, and has a pre-trial date of May 6.

The investigation began Jan. 21, when the victim told a school counselor about the assaults. The girl said the abuse started when she was about 7, while she lived in another state. She said Wolpahgan had assaulted her three times since Dec. 15, the complaint says; the contact included penetration.

The victim said on Jan 20, Wolpahgan insisted they have sex again, court documents say, and an argument ensued. He drove her to the home of his friend and sexually assaulted her, then took her home.

Wolpahgan was arrested Jan. 22, and allegedly admitted that he'd sexually assaulted the victim on numerous occasions.

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