Cruz Barrera-Lugo, 61, sat emotionless in the Gwinnett County Magistrate courtroom flanked by his attorney and a Spanish-speaking translator Friday as Gwinnett County Police Officer Kevin Fieldgrove laid out the state’s case against him.
Officer Fieldgrove said he was called to a house in Lawrenceville Feb. 11 to check out what he originally referred to as a “domestic dispute.”
The owner of the home reportedly told Officer Fieldgrove his 8-year-old nephew had been watching the home’s security footage on a computer when he saw “a man in the backyard messing with his dog.”
Officer Fieldgrove said the home owner went outside to confront Barrera-Lugo.
“He said the (landscaper) went pale white,” Fieldgrove said. “He tried to plead with (the homeowner) not to call the police.”
Officer Fieldgrove said he watched the security tape when he got to the Lawrenceville home. It allegedly showed Barrera-Lugo coaxing the dog into a corner of the yard and pulling down his pants before RAPING
When Officer Fieldgrove couldn’t find Barrera-Lugo to arrest him, the police released information about his case to the media.
Barrera-Lugo turned himself in soon after. He was booked into Gwinnett County jail Feb. 13 at 4:47 p.m. on charges of bestiality and cruelty to children in the second degree, according to jail records.
The felony charge of cruelty to children in the second degree means a suspect is accused of causing cruel or excessive mental or physical pain to a minor, according to Georgia law.
But Barrera-Lugo’s attorney, Eric Crawford, argued the state had no evidence the boy suffered that degree of mental pain. The court agreed.
Barrera-Lugo will still face a felony charge of bestiality when he comes before Gwinnett Superior Court, but child cruelty charge was dropped to third degree — a misdemeanor.
Barrera-Lugo may have to wait in jail until his superior court date arrives. Crawford argued bond for his client Friday, but it was denied.
(Gwinnett Daily Post - March 3, 2017)