An Austin man convicted in Mower County District Court of sexually abusing a small child will remain in prison.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected the request of 34-year old Mario Antonio Burciaga that his conviction for 1st degree criminal sexual conduct be overturned. Burciaga was arrested in 2017 and found guilty in May 2018. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison and fined $20,000.

Authorities reported that Burciaga sexually abused a three-year-old child. It was first reported in 2014 but the child could not identify Burciaga as the abuser until 2016.

Burciaga challenged his conviction, arguing there was insufficient evidence, that the prosecutor appealed to the passions and prejudices of the jury during closing arguments, and that the $20,000 fine was an abuse of discretion.

The Court of Appeals has rejected all of those arguments.

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Burciaga will not be eligible for parole until 2035.