Battle Creek feedlot owner Travis Belina appears in court Thursday amid sexual abuse charges
MADISON, Neb. -- Travis Belina, a 26-year-old feedlot owner from Battle Creek, had an additional hearing Thursday at the Madison County Courthouse.
Belina faces charges of sexual assault against minors, where he allegedly paid them to keep silent after sexually abusing them over a period of months.
Belina appeared in court in person while the three attorneys representing him joined the hearing via zoom call.
The hearing was initially labeled as a miscellaneous motion hearing. The state brought forward eight separate motions, most of which were delayed for the pre-trial on Feb. 29.
As far as the motions that were addressed, the defense plans to cross-examine Deputy Jon Downey. Downey was the deputy who responded to the case initially, as he conducted the interviews with the teens that brought the allegations forward.
The defense argued that Downey was not qualified for child interviews and that the children should have been examined by a child advocacy center. This way, they can attempt to avoid any “false accusations” that could be made by the children in their depositions and interviews.
The defense and the state also settled to have the psychological testimony of defense handled outside of the jury, that way they can have permissible information, when in front of a real jury come trial time.
One of the larger motions was saved for the very end; regarding a potential change of venue for Belina that would be elsewhere than Madison County. That motion was delayed for the pre-trial as well.
In the end, Judge Mark Johnson declared that all motions required to be evidentiary, and the pre-trial will take place on Feb. 29. There they will address the potential change of venue, as well as back the other motions stated previously.