A 20-year-old Hastings man accused of sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl is fighting the charge being sent to the district court.
Adams County Public Defender Shon Lieske filed a plea in abatement Thursday for Jeromy Naslund, whose last known address was 1216 N. Lexington Ave. A plea in abatement challenges the evidence used to bring a charge before the district court.
A hearing will be scheduled for the motion in March.
Naslund faces a charge of sexual assault of a child, a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison.
During a preliminary hearing on Jan. 18, Hastings Police Detective Allen Sedlak testified that the alleged victim said she and Naslund had sexual intercourse on multiple occasions between May and December 2016, either at her home or his home, both located in Adams County. Sedlak said the alleged victim named two particular times she recalled, around Halloween and in the beginning of December.
Lieske argued that the girl turned 16 by the end of November 2016, which would mean the sexual contact wouldn’t be illegal. Since the girl didn’t provide specific dates, Lieske said there wasn’t a way to know if she would have been 16 at the time.
Under Nebraska law, people 19 and older cannot have sexual contact with people younger than 16.
Even if the incident around Halloween was before the girl turned 16, Lieske said there wasn’t any testimony as to where the specific crime charged had occurred. If the incident had occurred outside the county, it would be outside the Adams County court’s jurisdiction.
Deputy Adams County Attorney Cassie Baldwin argued that it was an ongoing sexual relationship but some of that time included when she would have been 15. She also said that the relationship only occurred in Adams County, making it the proper jurisdiction. `
Naslund also faces another charge of sexual assault against a child in Adams County District Court. The second case involves a 13-year-old girl. Details of that case aren’t available in court documents.
In that case, a pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for April 6 at 11 a.m.