Fernley man pleads not guilty to California charges of sex with minor

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

A Fernley man arrested last month on charges out of California of sexually abusing a child has pleaded not guilty.

Morgan McDowell, 40, entered pleas of not guilty in Butte County (Calif.) Superior Court to 10 different charges, including with two counts of sexual penetration with a victim under the age of 14, one count of sexual penetration with a victim under the age of 16, five counts of sexual penetration with a victim under the age of 18, and two counts of oral copulation with a victim under the age of 18.

McDowell was arrested in December by U.S. Marshals after a criminal complaint was filed by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, after an investigation into allegations by a victim who had reported continuous sexual abuse that occurred over several years.

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The investigation started in December 2020 when Butte County Sheriff’s Office detectives were contacted by a victim who reported continuous sexual abuse that occurred over several years. During the investigation detectives interviewed multiple individuals in California and Nevada. 

A preliminary hearing the case has been set for Feb. 22.

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