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Prosecutors: 65-year-old Merrill man sexually touched young victim, faces up to 60 years
MERRILL - A 65-year-old Merrill man could face up to six decades in prison if convicted of sexually assaulting a child last Sunday.

Mark Welch appeared before Judge Robert Russell in Lincoln County Court on Monday.

"Mr. Welch, that charge is a Class B felony," Russell said. "It carries a maximum penalty of a term of imprisonment not to exceed 60 years. Do you understand that?"

Prosecutors say Welch inappropriately touched a child younger than 13 years old last Sunday near Gleason. Welch told the child they were playing a game called "monsters" at the victim's home. When Welch touched the victim in the private area with the victim's pants off, the child told him to stop, but he did not.

On Monday in court, Welch told the judge "I don't agree with none of this" after reading the charges against him.

Welch was also convicted of third-degree sexual assault in Marathon County 2001.

He's being held on a $50,000 cash bond and will return to court on February 21.

Story By: Ben Meyer


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