A 35-year-old Inver Grove Heights man was charged May 17 with first degree criminal sexual conduct after allegedly inappropriately touching a 3-year-old neighbor on multiple occasions.
According to a Dakota County criminal complaint, the child told a Children's Hospital nurse that Justin Wellington Tatum molested her "once in the bathtub and once on the couch."
The child's mother told police she has known Tatum since October 2011 and that, because of their friendship, it was not uncommon for the man to be at the 52nd Street apartment almost every day.
According to the complaint, the woman became suspicious May 6, when she noticed Tatum walk into the child's bedroom.
When she went to check on her daughter, she saw the girl lying on a mattress on her back with her legs spread. She also saw Tatum "kneeling or squatting on the floor directly in front of her daughter's open legs."
In a post-arrest interview, Tatum denied touching the girl inappropriately but admitted to giving her and her brother a bath prior to the day in question.
As to the mother's claims about the May 6 incident, Tatum alleged that he fell onto the floor and on top of the girl just prior to her mother walking into the room.
Tatum was taken into custody May 15 and has been in the Dakota County Jail ever since. He is scheduled to appear at an omnibus hearing June 12.
If convicted of the charges against him, Tatum could spend as many as 25 years in prison and be ordered to pay a $35,000 fine.