Hammond man disavows guilty plea
Post-Tribune staff report July 5, 2013 9:36PM
Updated: August 7, 2013 6:02AM
More than four months after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery involving a 7-year-old, a 70-year-old Hammond man has withdrawn his earlier statement.
Francisco Ortega Cruz, who had admitted he touched the girl in a sexual manner between November 2010 and June 2011 at a home in Hammond where he lived with his wife, said through Spanish interpreter Gloria Torres-Lupo, “Everything that has been said, it is all false.”
When Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. questioned him further, Cruz said he never did anything to the girl.
Cruz’s statement came after the girl’s mother testified that her daughter later told her of other sexual activity Cruz engaged in with the child.
The judge said he didn’t feel comfortable going forward with sentencing and scheduled a July 30 status hearing.