Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/11/2014 6:14 PM

Wadsworth man guilty of molesting Lambs Farm resident

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Hector Picaso

      Hector Picaso

 
 

A Wadsworth man was found guilty Wednesday of molesting a woman with Down syndrome while he served as her supervisor at Lambs Farm in Green Oaks.

Hector Picaso, 62, of the 13000 block of Douglas Court, can be sentenced to up to 37 years in prison for molesting the then-36-year-old victim on four occasions between Feb. 2 and May 24, 2012.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

It took the jury of five men and seven women about three hours to convict Picaso on all counts. Lake County Judge James Booras immediately revoked Picaso's bond and he was taken into custody.

"It was important that, despite her challenges, the jury heard the truth of what happened from the victim herself," Assistant State's Attorney Fred Day said outside the courtroom after the verdict. The victim testified during the second day of the trial.

The victim, who was present throughout the three-day trial, smiled widely when the jury found Picaso guilty. Picaso showed no reaction to the verdict.

The assault came only months after the victim had moved into and began working at the assisted living quarters at Lambs Farm, Assistant State's Attorney Tim Niehus said during closing arguments Wednesday.

"(Lambs Farm) was a safe place for her to be, it was a safe place for her to live, it was a safe place for her to work," Niehus said. "But, it was turned into a nightmare by Hector Picaso."

Niehus said the victim was assigned to work with the cleaning crew supervised by Picaso, who intentionally preyed on her because she had not yet ingrained herself into the culture of Lambs Farm.

During a four-month period, Picaso sexually abused the victim on four occasions, including assaults in a public washroom and in her apartment, Niehus said.

The victim didn't stop the attack or protest it because she feared she would be told to leave the complex and lose her job, Niehus said.

Picaso tried to assault her on two later occasions, but she refused, Niehus said. After the second refusal, Picaso quit Lambs Farm without warning "because he knew he was in trouble," Niehus said.

After Picaso quit, the victim told supervisors about the attack, which led to him being charged in August with two counts of criminal sexual assault and four counts of criminal sexual abuse, Niehus said.

"The whole purpose of a trial is to do justice," he told the jury. "So I ask you to strip him of his innocence and find him guilty."

Defense attorney Douglas Grimes argued the victim was coached when she testified during the trial. In addition, Grimes said, Picaso is a 62-year-old diabetic who lacked the sex drive to assault the victim.

"Look at the evidence of the case," Grimes told the jury. "You will not be releasing a sexual predator back into the world, you'll be setting free a decent, religious, little old man."

Picaso is due back to court July 2 for sentencing.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.