September 25, 2019
Austin L. Miller


Tony Cruz, 52, was convicted of 14 counts of sexual abuse against four children.

A fugitive taken into custody earlier this year in Marion County has been found guilty in Pennsylvania of sexually abusing children.

Tony Cruz was convicted of 14 counts of sexual abuse against four children, who are now adults, according to a release from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. The Pennsylvania prosecutors said the victims testified against Cruz.

The verdict came on Sept. 11. The release notes jurors took 90 minutes to decide Cruz’s fate.

At the conclusion of the trial, Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro, who presided over the three-day trial, increased Cruz’s bail to $2 million.

Lancaster officials said the judge is expected to sentence Cruz in a few months after the completion of a background investigation. At the time of Cruz’s sentencing, the judge will make a decision on whether or not Cruz will be classified as a sexually violent predator.

Officials said the case against the 52-year-old former Silver Springs Shores resident was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Karen Mansfield. Detective Aaron Harnish of the Lancaster City Bureau of Police criminal investigative division put together the case, officials said.

Lancaster officials said the abuse against the children occurred at multiple locations that began in 1984 to 2004. Cruz, the officials said, later moved to Florida .

In late January, Cruz was arrested at a residence on Hickory Loop Way as a fugitive from justice on a warrant for rape and transported to the Marion County Jail.

Jail records show Cruz remained at the facility until his release to Pennsylvania officials on Feb. 12. Local court records show Cruz signed a waiver of extradition on Jan. 29 following his first appearance hearing.

Criminally, Cruz had two charges of domestic battery. One was in 2007, and the second was in 2012. In both instances, the cases were dropped, according to court records.



Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.


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