Friday, June 9, 2023 3:08 AM
Houston, Texas (KTRK) – Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday that a youth sports coach on the North Side of Houston has been sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting young girls on his team.
The video above is from the 2018 Initial Report.
Juan Jose Cruz, 56, who also went by the name “John,” was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and was sentenced to an additional 20 years for one indecent offense with a child.
These sentences will run synchronously.
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Cruz’s guilty pleas came after several young women on his athletic team came forward with victim impact statements.
According to officials, Cruz was released on bail and refused to appear in court while on bail, due to his first sexual assault case. After being away from court for nearly a year, Cruz returned to court in 2020.
“This defendant is a true predator. He abused many girls in his life who trusted him and their parents,” said Assistant District Attorney Jana Oswald.
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Oswald, who heads the DA’s Crimes Against Children Division, brought the case with Assistant District Attorney Edward Applebaum.
“The defendant was so good at setting up society, the parents, the girls, and letting him commit these crimes for so long. The courage it took for all these women and young women to come forward about their abuse and be willing to testify against their abuser is amazing. Their statements show their strength and resilience.”
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