(Mankato, MN) – The wife of a St. Clair man accused of molesting a family member is facing criminal charges, accused of covering up her husband’s alleged crimes.

Debra Luann Otto, 62, of St. Clair, faces two felony counts of aiding an offender in Blue Earth County.  Her husband Roger Otto, was charged in October with first-degree criminal sexual conduct following an investigation of accusations that he had molested a relative for years

According to the criminal complaint, Blue Earth County Human Services received a report in July 2018 that Roger Otto had been molesting the victim for three to four years.  The reporter told BCHS that Debra Otto knew of the abuse, but a family meeting was held and it was decided to “keep it a secret.”

Investigators met with the Ottos, who blamed another family member who angry about other family issues. The victim denied the allegations at that time, according to the complaint.

In a second phone call in August 2018, the “angry” family member reported to the Blue Earth County Sheriff that they had personally confronted Roger Otto twice about the abuse, according to the complaint.  Court documents say Roger Otto admitted to the abuse in two phone calls, but the second conversation was recorded.

In October 2019, investigators interviewed Debra Otto, who said she had found out about the abuse about a year prior and was “devastated.”  Debra admitted there had been a family meeting, and said the victim did not want Roger to get in trouble.  She told police that she believed the abuse was happening again, but when she talked to Roger or the victim, they would get angry.

Court documents say Debra confirmed that Roger had promised he would not sexually abuse the victim “anymore.”

Debra told police she didn’t condone Roger’s behavior but would stand by him.  She’s due in court on February 13, 2020

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