A 21-year-old man is accused in Cass County District Court of raping a girl when she was 10 and 11.

Salbino Joseph Depina is charged with Class AA felony gross sexual imposition for the incidents, which occurred between November 2005 and April 2006, according to court documents.

East Central Judicial District Judge John Irby set bail at $250,000 cash Friday for Depina during his initial appearance via interactive television. Depina also was appearing on a warrant for failing to show up for a presentence investigation on an unrelated charge.

Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick recommended that bail be set at $100,000 cash considering the seriousness of the charges and Depina's failure to follow court orders, but Irby set bail higher, adding that he was doing so "given what I've seen in this file."

Court documents state:

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

The girl, who is now 12, told investigators Depina raped her on more than one occasion and forced her to touch him and give him oral sex.

After each incident he told her, "Play your cards right," which she told investigators she took to mean not to tell anyone.

The girl told authorities she was scared Depina would hurt her if she did not do it again. When he asked her to have sexual intercourse with him, she said she began crying but she surrendered out of fear.

Depina told investigators he never touched the girl and that the accusations were ridiculous and part of a "baked-up story."

Depina's next court appearance is scheduled for April 10.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541