Racine police say a 41-year-old man with a prior conviction for sexual assault is back behind bars after inappropriately touching a young girl.

Dale Worzella, of Racine, will be charged Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court with a single felony count of second degree sexual assault of a child under age 16. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison and/or up to $100,000 in fines.

Worzella’s initial appearance was postponed because he obtained an attorney and didn’t need representation from the public defender’s office.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called Oct. 10 to a home on city’s south side for a reported sexual assault. When officers arrived, a woman and 14-year-old girl said that Worzella fondled the girl in her bedroom and stopped when the girl told him to leave.

Police say when the woman confronted Worzella about the incident, he admitted to touching the girl, apologized over and over again and said, “I didn’t mean it.” When the woman heard a door opening, she went to investigate the noise and found the girl trying to leave. Worzella told the girl it wasn’t her fault and that he didn’t mean it.

The defendant begged the woman to not call the police because he didn’t want to return to prison, the complaint reads. Online court records indicate Worzella was convicted in 1994 of second degree sexual assault that was amended to third degree. The record does not indicate how many time, if any, Worzella spent in prison for that conviction.

Worzella remains booked into the Racine County Jail. His initial appearance begins at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

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