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Austin, MN man charged with criminal sexual conduct

Sarah Stultz, Albert Lea Tribune –

A 36-year-old Austin man has been charged with raping and attempting to strangle his ex-girlfriend in Albert Lea in what was described as a jealous rage.

According to Freeborn County District Court documents, Andres Barrera Jr. faces charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree burglary and domestic assault by strangulation for the alleged crimes.

He is expected to appear in court Tuesday for a hearing.

Barrera allegedly showed up unwanted outside the ex-girlfriend’s house on Jan. 3, forced his way inside and then forced the woman into a bedroom where he reportedly sexually assaulted her and attempted to strangle her, court records state.

The woman’s two youngest children were also home at the time.

During an interview with an Albert Lea Police Department detective, the woman said Barrera had entered through a gate into the backyard, demanding to know who she was hiding. After asking him to leave, she said Barrera pushed her up the stairs and into the house, where he appeared to be looking for someone, the documents continue. The events unfolded shortly after.

The woman told police that since New Year’s Eve, Barrera had been calling and texting her and that she had repeatedly told him to leave her alone. She also specifically told him not to come to her house, the reports state.

Police conducted a forensic search of the house, taking photos and evidence from both inside and outside of the house.

Barrera faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine for the criminal sexual conduct charge, 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine for the burglary charge, and three years in prison and a $5,000 fine for the strangulation charge.

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