JEFFERSON — A 19-year-old Whitewater man accused of touching a young girl appeared in Jefferson County Circuit Court Tuesday.
Raul Utrera Lopez has been charged with first-degree child sexual assault/sexual contact with a child under 13. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 60 years.
Utrera Lopez is scheduled to appear in court at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, for a status conference that defense attorney Jeffrey De La Rosa of the State Public Defenders Office said likely will include a plea and sentencing.
De La Rosa told Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge William Hue Tuesday that he was working with Assistant District Attorney Brookellen Teuber on exchanging information and case negotiations. De La Rosa said that if a status conference is set for a few months out, the case likely will be resolved.
Utrera Lopez is alleged to have felt the girl’s breast under her bra while she was sleeping between Oct. 30 and Nov. 30, 2018.
In March 2019, the Whitewater Police Department received a report of inappropriate touching from the victim and that she’d identified Utrera Lopez, then 18, as the person who touched her, according to the criminal complaint.
The Whitewater Police Department worked with an intake worker at the Jefferson County Department of Human Services to interview the victim, according to the complaint. In that interview, the girl told the intake worker the incident happened one morning between Halloween and Thanksgiving of 2018.
The victim said Utrera Lopez entered her bedroom while she was lying on her bed, placed his hand under her shirt and them moved his hand under her bra and touched her breasts, the complaint states. The girl told the intake worker she was about to scream, but Utrera Lopez told her “I’m so sorry,” and left the room. After he left, the girl said, she was so tired she fell back asleep.
A few weeks later, the complaint states, the girl felt she needed to tell someone about the incident, so she told a friend. A few weeks later, she told her mother. The victim said her mother felt bad about the incident because she didn’t feel that she could help her children.
In that interview, the girl went on to describe other instances in which Utrera Lopez made similar actions, including while they were wrestling. She said he sometimes would enter her room and get under the covers with her, but that nothing happened on those occasions, according to the complaint.
A few weeks after telling her mother about the incident, Utrera Lopez and her mother talked to the girl. Utrera Lopez said he was sorry and that he was drunk when it happened, the complaint states.
The victim said she told him there was no excuse for what happened and she told her mother that she didn’t accept the apology because she didn’t trust him anymore — which she said made her feel very sad, according to the complaint.
In April 2019, Utrera Lopez called the Whitewater Police Department to talk with a detective. Utrera Lopez went into the police station for a voluntary interview, during which he recalled consuming alcohol and later touching the girl’s breasts. He told police he stopped after she woke up and he regretted it.
Utrera Lopez said that he had consumed six shots of Fireball, six shots of Jack Daniels, six bottles of Corona Beer and four mixed drinks that night, according to the complaint.
After telling all of this to the detective, Utrera Lopez was placed under arrest, the complaint states.