Sex-assault suspect appears in court

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Manuel Ramos-Velasquez

Manuel Ramos-Velasquez

A 42-year-old St. Joseph man is due back in court later this month to face charges of 2nd-degree statutory rape after his first appearance Tuesday.

Manuel Ramos-Velasquez faces one class-c felony count in Buchanan County after the incident more than a year ago.

In court documents, a police officer cites witness statements asserting Ramos-Velasquez had sexual intercourse with the victim in December of 2015.

The defendant has been released from jail after posting $25,000 cash bail. He told Associate Circuit Judge Rebecca Spencer he hasn’t had a chance to speak with an attorney.

Judge Spencer entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf, and scheduled the case for the preliminary hearing docket February 23.