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Court hearing for South Sioux City man moved to May

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HARTINGTON — A court hearing planned for a South Sioux City man accused of sexual assault was delayed until May.

Guillermo Coronado Ortiz, 60, is charged with two counts of allegedly sexually assaulting a child at Lake Yankton last summer.

Coronado Ortiz could receive life imprisonment on each of the child sexual assault charges.

He is accused of allegedly engaging in sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl while they were swimming in Lake Yankton and providing her with alcohol.

Coronado Ortiz was scheduled for a hearing Monday in Cedar County District Court. However, his defense attorney, Nikki Brandt, was granted a continuance because of the ongoing discovery process for interviewing witnesses.

A pre-trial hearing is now set for May 10 at the Cedar County Courthouse in Hartington. The court has scheduled a five-day trial beginning May 17.

Coronado Ortiz was arrested by Cedar County Sheriffs deputies at the Gavin’s Point Project, Lake Yankton Swimming Beach.

Cedar County Law Enforcement responded to a call at approximately 6:20 p.m., June 16, 2020, from a witness who phoned concerns.

After investigating, officers arrested Guillermo Coronado Ortiz and transported him to the Cedar County Jail.

According to documents filed with the Cedar County Court, Coronado Ortiz forced the child to engage in “debauchery, public indecency or pornographic depictions,” and that he exposed himself and procured alcohol for the minor.

Cedar County Attorney Nicholas Matney filed several felony charges against Coronado Ortiz.

Coronado Ortiz is accused of Count I, felony Sexual Assault of a Child in the First Degree; Count II, felony Child Abuse; Count III, Public Indecency; and Count IV, Procuring Alcoholic Liquor To or For a Minor.

Count I is a Class IB Felony, which carries a maximum possible penalty of life imprisonment.

Count II is a Class IIIA Felony, which carries a maximum possible penalty of three years imprisonment and 18 months post-release supervision or $10,000 fine or both.

Count III is a Class II Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum possible penalty of six months imprisonment or $1,000 fine or both. Count IV is a Class I Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum possible penalty of not more than one year imprisonment or $1,000 fine or both.

The first sexual assault charge alleges digital penetration, while the second charge alleges penile penetration.

Both charges allege the defendant, being at least 25 years of age or older, subjected another person at least 12 years of age but less than 16 years of age, to sexual assault.

In both cases, the alleged female victim is listed with the same initials and the same birth month and year.

The trial was originally scheduled for February, but the proceedings have taken more time than expected.

District Judge Bryan Meismer granted the recent continuance. No objections came from either Nebraska Assistant Attorney General William Tangemann or Cedar County Attorney Nick Matney, who are prosecuting the case.

The judge has also approved the defense’s intention to question witnesses under oath concerning the alleged incident, according to court papers.

The defense requested it be allowed to depose three parties: M.L., the alleged victim of the charged offenses; and Wendy Gerneaux and Tamara Small, who were witnesses and the reporting parties of the alleged incident.

In addition, the defense intends to ask Gerneaux and Small for details of the incident they reported to authorities.

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