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Gering man sought on warrant, accused of sexual assault

Gering man sought on warrant, accused of sexual assault

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An arrest warrant has been issued for a Gering man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

Mario Blanco, 44, of Gering, is sought on a charge of first-degree sexual assault on a child, a Class IB felony, according to Scotts Bluff County Court documents.

According to an arrest warrant filed in Scotts Bluff County Court, Scottsbluff Police began an investigation on Aug. 18 after a 14-year-old girl had reported being sexually assaulted. Police conducted a forensic interview with the girl.

The girl disclosed during the interview that she had been at a relative’s home and Blanco had stayed overnight. The girl said she had been sick and not feeling well. She had cuddled with Blanco, who she identified as a father figure, in the living room of the home, when he helped her upstairs to her bedroom and laid down in her bed. The girl alleged that he began to rub her, turned her head to kiss her and began rubbing her inner thigh. The girl told police that Blanco sexually assaulted her, describing sex acts that she alleged he committed. The girl told police that as the man left her bedroom, her relative observed him leaving her bedroom.

Police interviewed the relative, who confirmed that Blanco had been at her home on Aug. 13 and that she had gone to bed at 3 a.m. She awoke at 6 a.m. and could not find Blanco. As she went upstairs, she said she saw him coming out of the room the girl had been in. When the girl woke, she asked to go to another relative’s home. The girl disclosed later that day to her, she told police.

Police sought a warrant for Blanco’s arrest, which was issued on Aug. 23.

Anyone with information in the case can contact Scottsbluff Police Department, 308-632-7176. Anonymous tips can also be made to Scotts Bluff County Crime Stoppers, 308-632-7867 (STOP).

manuette.loeks@starherald.com

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