Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Hispanic captured in Mexico and convicted of the 2005 rape and kidnapping of a 9-year-old Ohio girl has been sentenced to multiple life prison sentences and designated a sexual predator in southwest Ohio

Alfredo Lopez Cruz was sentenced in Hamilton, about 35 miles north of Cincinnati. A Butler County jury had found him guilty of one count of kidnapping and four counts of rape. The case raised tensions in 2005 and led to unrest in the racially diverse neighborhood where the crime occurred. A Butler County Common Pleas judge sentenced Lopez Cruz to three consecutive life sentences with no eligibility for parole for at least 10 years on each sentence for three rape counts. The judge also sentenced him to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for at least 10 years on the fourth rape count, with that sentence to be served concurrently, county prosecutor Michael Gmoser said. The kidnapping conviction was merged with the rape counts for sentencing purposes, the prosecutor said. The now-teenage white female testified that Lopez Cruz grabbed her off her bicycle, took her inside his house and repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She said that he hit her in the face and she ran home naked after he fell asleep. Lopez Cruz fled the country before he could be indicted, but Mexican and U.S. authorities worked together to take him into custody and move him back to Ohio.

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