According to documents filed in Danbury Superior Court, Luis Emilio Cruz of Bridgeport was arrested on charges of sexual assault in the 4th degree. Connecticut State Police say he committed the alleged assault on Wednesday January 25, 2017 in Newtown, CT on a 12 year old female victim. The victim had been exiting a transportation bus owned by Connecticut Transportation Services, LLC (CTS) when she told her foster mother that the driver, later identified as Cruz had touched her inappropriately.
Due to confusion in communication between CTS and the Department of of Children and Families (DCF), the act was originally thought to have been committed on January 26, 2017 by a different driver.
The victim is currently living with a foster parent and has been diagnosed as intellectually disabled, described as operating on an intellectual level much younger than her chronological age.
The victim has scheduled visits with her biological parents every Tuesday and Thursday. Following the visits, she is transported back to her foster home in Bridgeport by CTS. On March 8, 2017, the victim’s regular driver was questioned. He had been the one to drive her on Thursday, January 26 - the date originally thought to be the date of occurrence of the assault. However, CTS vehicles are equipped with GPS systems that confirmed the regular drivers’ story. He claimed to have picked her up on time (4:30), and driven to Bridgeport with no stops. The GPS shows him leaving the pickup location at 4:31 and driving straight through to Bridgeport. The regular driver also told police that the victim was typically “joyful” and sang along with the radio. However, on the day in question, the victim was much more reserved and did not sing. When he neared his typical exit, she suddenly started screaming, “Don’t get off! Stay on the highway! Don’t get off!” The driver was able to calm the victim without stopping the vehicle and the rest of the trip was uneventful. GPS data corroborated the account.
On March 9, 2017, police received documentation from DCF that CTS had performed a one-time transport of the victim from her biological parents’ residence in New Fairfield to her foster home in Bridgeport on Wednesday, January 25. Normally, CTS transports do not occur on Wednesdays. The driver on that date was Luis E. Cruz.
A licensed clinical social worker with training in administering forensic child interviews in cases of suspected sexual assault interviewed the victim on March 9. The victim was able to indicate that she had been touched on her intimate parts but was not able to tell the interviewer who was responsible.
GPS data for Cruz’s vehicle on the date of the assault were examined. Cruz picked the victim up at 4:33pm at her biological parent’s residence. He drove the expected route towards Bridgeport but made an unscheduled stop off route at 5:15pm when he pulled into the National Shooting Sports Foundation parking lot. Cruz’s vehicle remained stationary in the lot for one minute and forty-one seconds. He then pulled back onto the road and continued to Bridgeport with no further unexplained stops.
Cruz was questioned by police on March 13. Cruz initially claimed to have made no unscheduled stops. When confronted with GPS evidence to the contrary, he admitted to having stopped in the National Shooting Sports Foundation parking lot for a short period to make sure that the victim was still wearing her seatbelt. Cruz was unable to explain why he had reason to believe that the victim had removed her seatbelt. When asked if he had verbally asked the victim, “Did you take your seatbelt off?” he answered that he tried not to talk to the victim. When asked how he determined that the seatbelt was still fastened, Cruz maintained that he had pulled into the parking lot at dusk and without activating any interior lights was able to turn and see that the seatbelt was fastened. However, this fails to account for about 90 seconds of time. Cruz could provide no other explanation for the unaccounted 90 seconds other than “he lost track of time.”
When Cruz dropped off the victim in Bridgeport, he admitted to police that he had seen the girl turn back to him and point while declaring to her foster parent that “that man touched my vagina.” Cruz says he was shocked but gave no verbal response to the claim. He claims that the foster parent told him, “Don’t worry about it” and made a spiral hand gesture to indicate that the victim was “not all there.” After that, Cruz claims to have forgotten about the incident.
On March 16, police interviewed the foster parent at her home in Bridgeport. She described the victim as happy and generally honest. She reported that she had been working on “Boundary Issues” with the victim, who is not afraid to voice a concern to her foster mother when she perceives a problem. She is also teaching the victim to use proper terms to describe her own body. The foster parent claims that her foster daughter pointed directly at Crus and stated, “That man touched my vagina,” before rushing inside. Cruz reportedly responded, “She’s lying.” The foster parent indicated to Cruz to wait while she went to check with the victim, but when she returned, Cruz had left. She claims to have never told Cruz “not to worry” and says she would never indicate that a child was “not all there.” The foster parent returned inside to the victim, who told her without prompting that “That man touch my vagina with his finger.” The foster parent immediately began making calls to the DCF to report the incident.
On March 16, Cruz was again questioned by police. He claimed to have remembered an alibi - he was texting a friend during the one minute forty second period he was stopped in the parking lot. However, there were no active texts in the thread that Cruz showed to police that matched the time of the crime. Cruz ultimately provided a verbal statement that he had pulled into the parking lot with the sole intent of touching the victim’s vagina. He believed that she was asleep and would be unaware of the contact. After stopping the vehicle, he took off his own seatbelt before spinning around to the victim. He stated that his intent was to touch the Victim’s vagina on top of her clothing but he only touched her inner, upper thigh on top of her clothing
On March 23, police examined the vehicle in which the crime had occurred. They determined that from the driver’s seat, it would not have been possible to see whether the passenger had been wearing a seatbelt. The floor plan of the vehicle also allows for the driver to move about to the second row unobstructed. Though Cruz maintains he was seated while he touched the victim, it is possible that he left his seat. However, given Cruz’s physical stature and the distance between the driver’s seat and the second row of seats, it is possible for Cruz to have touched the victim without leaving his seat.
Given all evidence, police believe suspect Luis Emilio Cruz, DOB 08/28/1977, 39 years old at the time of the incidence, committed the crime of sexual assault in the fourth degree on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. The victim was 11 years old at the time and suffers from some degree of mental impairment. He touched her inner thigh, which qualifies as an intimate part of her body.