Turlock

Relatives tell how Turlock teen has been hurt by sex abuse

Jorge Cruz arrives at the Stanislaus County Courthouse, Friday afternoon. September 12, 2008.
(Bart Ah You/The Modesto Bee)
Jorge Cruz arrives at the Stanislaus County Courthouse, Friday afternoon. September 12, 2008. (Bart Ah You/The Modesto Bee) Modesto Bee

The teenage victim of former Turlock police officer Jorge Cruz says she can't stand to be touched anymore. Even hugs from her mother make her cringe. That grim image is what Judge Charles Stone heard Friday during a sentencing hearing for Cruz.

The sentencing was postponed until Oct. 9. Defense attorney Paul Goyette asked for the delay because he wants to call witnesses to testify on Cruz's behalf.

Cruz, 32, is facing as much as four years and four months in state prison for three felony counts: sodomy with a minor, oral copulation with a minor and sexual intercourse with a minor. In August, he pleaded no contest to the charges, which is considered the same as a guilty plea during sentencing.

Cruz's victim was a 17-year-old girl who was shadowing him as part of the Turlock Police Department's Explorer program. Prosecutors say the sexual abuse occurred in June 2007.

At Friday's hearing in Stanislaus County Superior Court, prosecutor Annette Rees presented testimony from the teenage girl and her family. Rees read a statement from the girl that described in her own words her experience with Cruz.

"He took something from me that I will never get back. He took my security, my innocence," it read.

In her statement, the girl said she doesn't feel safe anywhere and sleeps with a gun. "Sometimes I think it would be easier to die than to deal with what he did to me," read the statement.

The statement was followed by courtroom testimony from the girl's parents, grandparents and uncle.

The girl's mother said the lives of her family have been devastated. She said she had missed several months of work because of the ordeal. The girl's father said he goes to counseling to help him overcome the intense hatred he feels toward Cruz.

While the family members told their stories, Cruz sat quietly next to his attorney. He faced forward, not turning to look in the family's direction.

The girl's grandfather told the court he is a Vietnam War combat veteran and is familiar with the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. He said he recognizes symptoms of the disorder in his granddaughter.

The allegations against Cruz came to light when police were investigating Carl Kubicek, an ex-Pitman High School teacher.

According to court documents, Kubicek told police in February that the girl had confided to him about Cruz several months earlier. Kubicek pleaded no contest to two felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with the girl.

Cruz and Kubicek were arrested Feb. 8. Kubicek is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Kubicek and Cruz did not know each other and the relationships did not overlap, police said. The cases are being handled separately. Both are free on bail.

To comment click on the link with this story at www.modbee.com. Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at lalbrecht@modbee.com or 578-2378.

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