A 23-year-old flight attendant from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Connecticut boy 156 times.
Rafael Padilla-Cruz had been charged with 156 counts of first-degree sexual assault. Over the course of the trial, the charges were pared down to two felony counts and Padilla-Cruz was acquitted of both, court officials said.
He was arrested in Bridgeport on Oct. 23. Following his arrest, the Connecticut Post reported that Padilla-Cruz had been living with the victim’s family and was accused of sexually assaulting the boy almost every day from 2007 to 2008.
Padilla-Cruz has denied the allegations throughout his trial and pleaded not guilty.
One of Padilla-Cruz’s lawyers called the boy a “troubled youngster” and said, “our client was vilified for his sexual orientation,” the Connecticut Post reports.
The boy was 10 years old at the time and is now 16.