$750,000 bond set for man accused of child sexual assaults

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OMAHA, Neb. -- Bond has been set at $750,000 cash for Mario Santos, 43, accused of two counts of First Degree Sexual Assault involving children.

Santos was in Douglas County Court Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors say the assaults date back as far as January 2016. The allegations were not reported until one of the victims recently told his mother about the incidents when she questioned him about changes in his behavior.

Police were notified. Officers were told of the allegations by the 10-year-old.

In court on Wednesday, the prosecutor told the judge, “For lack of a better term, your honor, it was described as a “witch doctor.” He was leading the children to believe he was casting spirits on them and their family. He was conducting rituals where he was burning candles on or near the children. One of the children described being whipped and had injuries consistent with that.”

Both victims disclosed sexual assaults and identified Santos as the man responsible.

Each of the two charges against Santos could carry a potential sentence of 20 years to life upon conviction.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 15th.