2nd sex suspect still lives just feet away from alleged victim

MASCOTTE -- For the second time, a family is fighting to keep a neighbor suspected of sexually abusing their daughter off their street.

In August, police arrested Eugenio Espinoza, 18, who lives down the street from the 12-year-old, on suspicion of having sex with the sixth-grader in her backyard. Espinoza spent more than a month in jail before posting $2,000, which was 10 percent of his bond. Now he is living at his residence, which is too close for comfort, according to the victim's parents.


Prosecutors will seek a court order at a hearing Wednesday to prohibit Espinoza from living in the neighborhood, Assistant State Attorney Lori Lockshin said.

It's like dM-ijM-' vu for the girl's family. At the end of August, police arrested another neighbor, Jose G. Alvarado, 31, on suspicion of grabbing the girl and fondling her under her shirt, according to an arrest affidavit. He spent three days at the Lake County Jail before posting bond and returning home near the 12-year-old.


Alvarado continued to live at the home while awaiting the outcome of his case. In September, the State Attorney's Office decided not to file charges against him because of inconsistencies in the statements of witnesses and a communication issue between Alvarado and the arresting officer, Lockshin said.

The victim's mother said Espinoza lives two doors down from her home and mows the lawn next door. The Orlando Sentinel does not normally identify victims of sex crimes.

"It's a disgrace to the entire court system," the mother said. "It's been a joke all the way around. It's a sick situation."

A judge granted a restraining order that prohibits Alvarado from coming near the child.

Another reason the state would have been unable to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt was because of a miscommunication that occurred when an officer interviewed Alvarado, Lockshin said. The officer did not speak Spanish, and Alvarado speaks little to no English.

It was not clear what happened with that interrogation.

Three out of eight road patrolmen at the Mascotte Police Department speak Spanish fluently, Lt. Michael Warchol said.

Warchol said he is certain the situation is uncomfortable for the victim and her family, but police cannot legally stop the two men from moving back unless a stricter restraining order or motion is passed in court.


The victim's father said he gave police his gun because he was ready to take the matter into his own hands.

Police said they are closely monitoring the situation.

"Our presence is definitely heightened in that area," Warchol said. "We hope that his [Espinoza's] arrest has opened his eyes and that he doesn't go anywhere near her."