An Aurora man was found guilty of molesting a 10-year-old child following a jury trial, according to Lawrence County Prosecutor Robert George. Members of the jury took only one hour and 20 minutes to find Eugenio Soto, 37, guilty of two counts of child molestation in the first degree.
The victim testified in court and told about the night of Sept. 24, 2005, she was molested by Soto. According to evidence presented at the trial, the victim, who was 10 years old at the time of the crime, was staying the night at the Soto residence when Soto returned home drunk and began touching the victim in a sexual manner.
The victim began crying, which woke Soto's wife. Soto then left the home, and the wife took the girl to the Aurora Police Department where her mother picked her up and took her to the hospital for an exam.
The jury also heard testimony from the victim's mother, the defendant's wife and a case worker with the Children's Division.
Soto also testified in his own defense. He admitted he had consumed a "substantial amount" of alcohol but denied touching the girl. Soto also admitted he could not remember the events of the evening.
"The victim and her family were very pleased that the jury found this defendant guilty." George said. "These cases involving young victims are very emotional for the jury and the victim."
In returning its guilty verdict, the jury also recommended that Soto be sentenced to two five-year sentences for his crime.