Special Otoe County Prosecutor Julie Smith Hogancamp filed an information in district court charging Kenneth Cranford, 67, of Palmyra with a prior offense of sexual assault.
Otoe County sheriff's deputies arrested Cranford after a 10-year-old girl reported that while she was walking home from school he waived from the across the street asking for help to unload boxes from his van.
The girl said Cranford put his hand inside of her clothing and when she attempted to get away he picked her up and put her inside the cab of the van. She said he again put his hand inside of her clothing, but another car pulled up and Cranford let her go.
Cranford entered a not guilty plea to the charge on Tuesday.
Public Defender Michael Ziskey said Cranford was bound over for trial on a charge of sexual assault of a child, which is sentenced as a class 3A felony.
Hogancamp filed an information, however, charging a 1C felony. A 3A felony carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, while a 1C felony carries a mandatory five year sentence and a maximum sentence of 50 years.
The information alleges that Cranford was previously convicted of an assault in Hall County.
Judge Randall Rehmeier set a Jan. 8 trial date for Cranford.