The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 25, 2014

Conflict-of-interest delays rape trial

ST. JAMES — The jury trail for the Madelia man accused of raping a 4-year old girl was rescheduled Thursday due to a newly discovered conflict-of-interest with the Watonwan County attorney.

Edgar Cano-Fernandez, 29, is facing six counts of first-degree and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in the case. Separately, he is being re-charged for criminal sexual conduct allegations from 2007.

Watonwan County attorney Stephen Lindee said he had to excuse himself from the case when it was recently determined that he very briefly appeared on behalf of Cano-Fernandez in the original court proceedings for the 2007 case.

"I had completely forgotten about the appearance. It was a long time ago," Lindee said.

He said he will quickly hand-off the case to the Cottonwood County Attorney's Office. He said he does not expect the switch to impact the case.

Cano-Fernandez is scheduled for a new pre-trial hearing on Tuesday.

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