Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- A Rochester man accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a young girl made his first appearance in Olmsted County Court Monday. 

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The case began last July when Rochester Police officers were dispatched to St. Mary’s Hospital on the report of a girl under the age of 12 being sexually assaulted. Officers were called to the hospital by pediatric staff. 

Sue Moore/Townsquare Media
Sue Moore/Townsquare Media
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The criminal complaint says the young girl told police she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by 25-year-old Zeferino Cano Rafael. Investigators learned that Rafael had lived with the girl and her mother in Rochester for a year and that Rafael would sneak into the girl’s bedroom at night, sexually abuse her then leave before sunrise, according to the complaint.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, resources are available for help. Visit the RAINN website (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) or dial 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673).

The young girl told officers the worst of the sexual assaults occurred in 2020. The victim’s mother told investigators that Rafael was sexually aggressive towards her as well during his time living with the young girl and her mother. 

Rafael denied any wrongdoing towards the victim but admitted to sneaking into the victim’s mother’s room at night. He was arraigned Monday on a count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and a count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. 

Kim David/ Townsquare Media
Kim David/ Townsquare Media
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The judge in the case set his conditional bail at $25,000. His next court appearance is set for February 2.

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