Attorneys make closing arguments, jury now deliberating in Luis Lopez case

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Jurors started deliberating this afternoon, to decide if a former South Valley school employee is guilty of sexually abusing two students more than three years ago. (KFSN)

Jurors started deliberating this afternoon, to decide if a former South Valley school employee is guilty of sexually abusing two students more than three years ago.

Before deliberating, jurors listened to closing arguments in the Luis Lopez case.

Lopez is accused of molesting two underage female students while working as a campus supervisor at Valley Oak Middle School.

Eric Schweitzer told jurors he was proud to be Lopez's attorney, and that his client is an innocent man. He said prosecutors had not proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the two alleged victims are liars.

"I submit to you she didn't remember a lot of stuff, and it's inconsistent with her earlier statement on the subject of her memory," Schweitzer said.

Lopez allegedly molested the first victim multiple times in the Bronco room, and had sex with her twice.

Prosecutor Chelsea Wayt said the alleged victim didn't report the crimes, and dismissed them as rumors at first, because she didn't want to get Lopez in trouble.

"She did have some inconsistencies. There were some things that she didn't remember exactly the way she had told them back then," Wayt said. "But you need to judge for yourself, ask yourself, does that make a difference?"

"She wants to get Mr. Lopez in trouble because she's told an irrevocable lie and she's gotten herself into a pickle barrel," Schweitzer said. "She's gone to the crossroads twice, and she's determined to go down the road of Mr. Lopez did it versus the road of Mr. Lopez didn't do it."

In February of 2014, just days after Lopez's last encounter with the first victim, he allegedly molested a 13-year-old girl inside the nurse's office at Valley Oak.

Lopez's attorney told jurors the alleged victim told two different versions of what happened, and that she was partially motivated to lie about what happened with Lopez because he took away the marijuana she was caught with that day.

"For six weeks she did nothing," Wayt said. "And it wasn't until she found out the defendant had been arrested, that the school was discussing it, that she heard a teacher say 'Oh well, he probably didn't do, he'll probably get out of jail.' And she cried her eyes out, and in that instant, she knew that she had to call her mom and tell somebody because she couldn't let that happen."

Wayt went on to say that the only person with something to lose in this case is Lopez. She said he's not an innocent person wrongly accused, but a child molester.

Lopez faces more than 21 years in prison if convicted of all 15 felony counts.

Related Topics:
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