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Man pleads not guilty to felony sex charge

A 21-year-old West Fargo man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge accusing him of raping a girl when she was 10 and 11.

Salbino Joseph Depina is charged with Class AA felony gross sexual imposition, which carries a maximum sentence of life without parole and a mandatory minimum of 20 years.

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 between November 2005 and April 2006, according to Cass County District Court documents.

Depina denied the allegations and told an investigator the accusations were part of a "baked-up story," court documents say.

His next court appearance is scheduled for June 6.