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Sioux City man charged with sexually abusing girls

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SIOUX CITY -- A Sioux City man has been arrested on charges that he sexually abused two girls, one of them on several occasions during a three-year period.

Jose Contreras Mendoza, 50, was arrested Monday and booked into the Woodbury County Jail on two counts of second-degree sexual abuse. He is being held on a $25,000 bond.

Jose Contreras Mendoza mugshot

Contreras Mendoza

According to a complaint and affidavit filed in Woodbury County District Court, Contreras Mendoza touched and groped a girl under the age of 12 numerous times from approximately Aug. 13, 2013, to June 30, 2016, at a home in the 1200 block of Jackson Street. In most instances, Contreras Mendoza would grab the girl to sit on his lap, pull her pants down, cover up with a blanket and then touch her, court documents said.

The second girl reported that Contreras Mendoza touched her in a similar way in a bedroom during a Christmas party in either 2013 or 2014.

The second girl told her mother about the touching on May 27. The mother then called the other girl's mother, and the first girl disclosed that she, too, had been touched.

According to court documents, the mothers confronted Contreras Mendoza, who denied any inappropriate touching, but made an offer to pay them.

The families filed a police report, and the girls underwent forensic interviews at the Mercy Child Advocacy Center and wrote witness statements for police.

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PHOTOS: Woodbury County Courthouse past and present

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Related to this story

The man was arrested early Tuesday at Trattoria Fresco, where he was found inside, after officers were called to a burglary, where a window was broken out. Officers had responded earlier to other burglary and broken window calls.

According to court documents, the man touched and groped a girl under age 12 over a four-year span by grabbing her to sit on his lap, pulling her pants down, covering up with a blanket and touching her. He is accused of touching another girl similarly.

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