Bluffton man accused of child molestation surrenders to authorities

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 18, 2013 

Ruben Nieto-Banda

A Bluffton man suspected of sexually assaulting a child was arrested Friday on Hilton Head Island, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Ruben Nieto-Banda, 30, was arrested when he turned himself in to investigators. Nieto-Banda was wanted on one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor -- a 7-year-old girl -- alleged to have occurred Jan. 5 at a Baywood home where he was staying.

He is accused of inappropriately touching the child while she was visiting a friend, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. The incident was reported the following day after she told family members.

On Thursday, the Sheriff's Office issued a news release saying Nieto-Banda had arranged to turn himself in earlier in the week but did not.

He did not tell investigators why he failed to turn himself in on Thursday, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said Friday.

He was being held for prosecution Friday afternoon at the Beaufort County Detention Center. He has not been arrested before in Beaufort County, and the Sheriff's Office has not received other reports or complaints that Nieto-Banda had inappropriate contact with other children, McIntosh said.

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