Police: Suspect fleeing charge

GREENFIELD — Police said they believe a man accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl fled the country to avoid the criminal charge he faces in Hancock County.

Greenfield police officers began investigating Ulises Lopez more than a year ago after a teen reported Lopez had raped her, according to court documents. The 28-year-old Greenfield man was arrested on a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor in February and was released on bail not long after.

But investigators said Lopez has not been seen since.

Although he resides and works in Greenfield, police said they believe he has traveled to Mexico in an attempt to evade prosecution, said Greenfield Police Department Detective Lt. Randy Ratliff.

A teen girl told police in May 2014 that Lopez forced her to have sex with him in his Greenfield home; she became pregnant as a result of the alleged incident, court documents state.

The girl gave birth to the child early this year, police said.

A court-ordered paternity test was performed as part of the investigation, and results reportedly showed more than 99 percent probability that Lopez was the father of the child, court documents state.

A felony charge of sexual misconduct with a minor was filed by the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office, and Lopez was jailed on Feb. 24. He pleaded not guilty at an initial hearing the next day and was released on a $10,000 cash bond in March 12.

Lopez did not show up for a pretrial conference April 22 in Hancock County Superior Court 1, court records show.

Ratliff said ongoing police investigations suggest Lopez might have left the United States to escape custody. A new warrant for his arrest has been issued, court records show.

Sexual misconduct with a minor is a Class B felony, which carries six to 20 years in prison and more than $10,000 in fines.

Anyone with information about Lopez’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Greenfield Police Department at 317-477-4410.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.