A 52-year-old man has been charged in Des Moines County District Court with molesting a 13-year-old girl at a Burlington residence, where they were both staying.

Tommy "Shorty" Mitchell Sr., 1005 N. Eighth St., is charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, a class C felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison if convicted of both charges.

Mitchell was arrested about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Des Moines County Sheriff's Office.

He made his first appearance Thursday before District Associate Judge Emily Dean, who set his bond at $50,000 cash only. She appointed the Des Moines County Public Defender's Office to represent him. She also ordered him to next appear in court Dec. 18.

Burlington detectives began investigating the case in September after they were notified a 13-year-old girl had indicated she had been sexually molested at least twice by a man she knew as "Shorty." She said the incident occurred at a residence in Burlington. The child told police she knew Mitchell, but wasn't related to him or considered him a friend.

On at least two separate occasions earlier this year, Mitchell is alleged to have improperly touched the child, exposed himself to her and attempted to have sexual intercourse with her, the girl told a forensic investigator called in to question the child about the alleged incidents.

During one incident, the girl told the examiner Mitchell approach her as she was sleeping on a couch in the living room of the residence and attempted to engage her in sexual relations.

"When Shorty tried to kiss her, she smacked his face to make him stop," according to an affidavit unsealed Thursday. "She said that upset him. The child then ran to another room in the house, where she reported the incident to another adult male who lived in the home."

The man told "Shorty to leave her alone and go back to bed," court records state.

"On both occasions, Shorty made threats to the girl and threatened to hurt or kill her if she told anybody," court records state. "He also told her he was a member of a gang and he would have members of his gang come and shoot her if she told anyone."

The girl later posted a message on Facebook about the incidents.

"Why do grown-ass men like to touch little girls?" she asked in the social media post.

Detectives were able to retrieve and view the Facebook post as part of their investigation.

At one point, police made contact with Mitchell by telephone and asked him to come to the Burlington police station for questioning.

"He indicated he was aware of the allegations against him, but denied them," court records state. "He originally agreed to come to the police station for questioning, but when he did not show, officers called him again and and he stated he wanted to talk but did not want to come to the police department.

"Shorty later made it clear to detectives he was not going to cooperate with the investigation and refused to be interviewed about the allegations against him."

At that point, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He was taken into custody Wednesday without incident.