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Gay Fort Lauderdale flight attendant acquitted in Connecticut of sexually assaulting 10-year-old boy

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- A Fort Lauderdale flight attendant has been acquitted in Connecticut of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy more than 100 times.

Connecticut Superior Court Judge George Thim on Thursday found Rafael Padilla-Cruz not guilty of first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. There was no jury.

The Connecticut Post reports that Thim said he could not conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Padilla-Cruz sexually abused the youngster.

Padilla-Cruz's lawyer said he was vilified because he is gay.

The boy, who is now 16, testified that Padilla-Cruz, a family acquaintance, raped him almost daily between 2007 and 2008 while he was living with the boy's family.

Trial testimony says the boy was expelled from school in 2008 for drug abuse and violent behavior. He underwent mental health therapy.

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