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Noon Newscast 12.3.19

Siouxland Public Media

A Sioux City man has pleaded guilty in what authorities have called a human trafficking case in which a teenage Guatemalan girl was raped.

Thirty-eight-year-old Cristobal Francisco-Nicolas pleaded guilt in federal court to a smuggling count and unlawful possession of identification documents. In exchange, a third smuggling count will be dropped.

Prosecutors say Francisco-Nicolas helped pay smuggling costs for the girl and her father to get from Guatemala to the U.S.-Mexico border and then travel to Sioux City.

Francisco-Nicolas’ wife, 40-year-old Amy Francisco, pleaded guilty last week to helping her husband in the scheme.

The 17-year-old girl was found wandering Sioux City streets on June 5 and told authorities she had been repeatedly raped by Francisco-Nicolas before she escaped.

The Iowa Secretary of State says more than two million people in the state are registered to vote.

That’s the most ever heading into a presidential election year.

Secretary of State Paul Pate says part of the reason could be a new law that allows 17-year-olds to register to vote if they turn 18 by election day.

If you check out social media today you will notice is it Giving Tuesday.  A day dedicated to giving something back, encouraging charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world to celebrate generosity and give.   

And, speaking of donations, Missouri River Historical Development gifted $200,000 to a half dozen non-profit organizations yesterday.

The biggest one went to the Warming Shelter for $80,000.

MHRD has issued more than $38 million dollars in grants in the past 25 years.