Battle Creek feedlot owner pleads not guilty to sexually abusing two teenage employees
MADISON, Neb. -- A Battle Creek feedlot owner accused of sexually abusing two teenage employees pleaded not guilty in Madison County District Court on Friday.
25-year-old Travis Belina waived his right to a preliminary hearing earlier this month, court records showed. He now has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for December, with a jury trial slated for February.
Belina remains out on bond after posting 10% of $100,000 in August.
At Friday’s hearing, a no alcohol order was imposed. The court also issued an order that Belina is not allowed to have contact with anyone under 18, except for family, according to court records. The no alcohol order was issued despite the objections of Belina’s attorney, Eric Hagen.
Belina is charged with two counts of child abuse and one count of tampering with a witness. Two misdemeanor charges of third-degree sexual assault were dismissed without prejudice, according to Madison County Court records.
Late last month, Belina's previous attorneys withdrew themselves from the case. One week later, one of the victims and his mother filed a protection order against Belina, stating that Belina was contacting the boy both in-person and via phone. The boy's mother stated in the complaint that Belina had "promised" the boy certain things. The mother stated in her request for a protection order that the Madison County Sheriff's Office had suggesting filing a protection order against Belina.
Belina, who operates Belina Feedlot LLC, is accused of paying two teenagers to keep silent after he allegedly sexually abused them over a period of several months.
According to court documents, Belina allegedly engaged in sexual contact with the two accusers while they worked for him. The two boys reported the alleged crimes in July, stating that Belina had previously given them money and alcohol to stay quiet. An affidavit filed by investigators stated that the two teens were "extremely embarrassed" and "quite upset", leading to their reporting of the incidents.
The two reported victims listed at least 10 instances of alleged abuse, including one situation in which Belina allegedly had one of the teens drive Belina and the other teen in a vehicle. Belina allegedly told the driving teen to lock the doors, and he reportedly attempted sexual contact with the non-driving teen. When the teen in the back of the vehicle asked to leave, Belina allegedly told the two teens to switch places. At least one of the teens said he was afraid of losing his job as a result of the incident.