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Nebraska warrant issued for Iowa man, who faces felony sex crime charges in both states
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Nebraska warrant issued for Iowa man, who faces felony sex crime charges in both states

From the What you missed this week in notable Southeast Nebraska crimes and court cases series
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An arrest warrant has been issued in Lancaster County for a 42-year-old Sioux City, Iowa, man who faces felony sex assault charges in both Nebraska and Iowa.

Five days after Ernesto Canales was arrested June 2 in Woodbury County, Iowa, on suspicion of second-degree sexual abuse, a Nebraska warrant was issued for his arrest relating to a charge of first-degree sexual assault of a child. 

Ernesto Canales


The warrant and charge in Nebraska come after a 14-year-old girl told her father April 21 that Canales had "been raping her for years," according to court records detailing an investigation conducted by the Lincoln Police Department's Special Victims Unit. 

A week after the father's initial report, investigators interviewed the girl, who told them Canales first began inappropriately touching her when she was about 7 years old, according to court records.

The girl told investigators that Canales began having intercourse with her when she was about 11. She said Canales had intercourse with her "almost every day" while she was in middle school, according to court records. 

The warrant issued for Canales' arrest alleges the instances happened between January 2014 and December 2019. 

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According to the probable cause statement, Canales has been accused of sexual assault by three other girls, including a 5-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 6-year-old. 

LPD interviewed Canales in 2011 and 2019 related to accusations made by the 5-year-old and 16-year-old girls, respectively. Both times, Canales denied having sexual contact with the girls, according to court records. 

The third accusation — involving the 6-year-old girl — came last month and involved instances of alleged sexual abuse in Sioux City.

The girl was medically examined and interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center in Lincoln, where she again told authorities she was sexually abused, according to court records. That allegation led to Canales' arrest in Iowa. 

Canales is being held at the Woodbury County Jail on a $25,000 bond. Authorities there said he will be transported to Lancaster County after he goes through the judicial system in Iowa. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or

On Twitter @andrewwegley. 


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Breaking news reporter

A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Andrew Wegley joined the Journal Star as breaking news reporter after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2021.

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