Man found guilty of child molestation

FACES 5 TO 15 YEARS: Jeffrey Cruz listens to Superior Court Judge Alberto C. Lamorena III after Cruz was found guilty in two of seven counts in his sexual assault case Tuesday Nov. 12, 2019 in Hagåtña. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

A man who was accused of inappropriately touching four children known to him showed no emotion in the courtroom as he heard his fate.

Jeffrey Cruz was found guilty in the Superior Court of Guam on Tuesday of two of the seven counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

He's been acquitted of the remaining five counts filed against him.

A jury spent less than six hours deliberating and returned with a verdict in Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena's courtroom late Tuesday afternoon.

Cruz was accused of inappropriately touching three girls and one boy known to him over the past several years.

Assistant Attorney General Sean Brown said the family of the victims asked that he be detained. However, defense attorney Rocky Kingree asked that Cruz remain out of jail pending sentencing and appeal.

"We did find that the prosecutor did not try the case properly," said Kingree. There were more than 100 objections by the defense in this case, he said, "and so our big thing is appealing the case. We are not blaming the jury or the judge. We are blaming how the AG's office tried the case."

Judge Lamorena allowed Cruz to remain out of prison and ordered him to stay away from the victims.

Cruz, who declined comment following the reading of the verdict, continues to deny the allegations that he molested the children.

"We definitely are saying he is innocent," Kingree said. "We believe with the one child where he was found guilty that it would just be impossible. There is going to be insufficiency of evidence upon claim to the Supreme Court."

Cruz faces five to 15 years in prison.

Sentencing has been set for January 9, 2020.

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