Trial for Former Rochester School District Worker Rescheduled
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The trial of a Stewartville man accused of molesting a young girl while working for the Rochester school district has been rescheduled.
The trial for 31-year-old Nicholas Keller was scheduled to begin Monday. A late request from the prosecutor has led to a decision to move the trial to May.
The prosecutor is asking the trial judge to approve a motion “allowing the alleged victim to testify at the jury trial outside the presence of Mr. Keller.” The request includes a confidential letter from the girl’s psychologist that supports the motion.
Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem says such a request is somewhat rare because an accused person has a right to confront his or her accuser. He says most of the child victim cases in Olmsted County in recent years have not gone to trial because the defendant pleads guilty. One such case was the recent guilty plea by former Kasson police officer Julio Baez, who was charged with sexually abusing three children over a period of years.
Ostrem says child victims face the possibility of more trauma if they have to testify in front of the accused person. He says in this case, it’s possible the girl would testify while Keller is in a separate room watching the proceedings on a video/audio feed.
A hearing on the motion has been scheduled April 15th. The trial is now scheduled to begin May 6th.
Keller was charged with molesting a girl at Sunset Terrace in 2016 while he worked for the SACC program. Another case involving a different girl was dismissed after the court found it was filed too late.
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