Butler County’s most wanted criminal, a man who led police and the FBI on a six-year manhunt, appeared before the Hamilton court Sept. 30 to be formally charged with kidnapping and rape. According to Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County prosecutor, Alfredo Cruz was charged with the kidnapping and rape of a nine-year-old girl in Hamilton on June 19, 2005. The incident sparked a rash of unrest in the area.
“There was public outrage over the crime and they actually burned the home down where the alleged rape occurred … and there was a bit of vigilante justice. It’s obviously a highly emotionally-charged case because of the circumstances,” Gmoser said.
Butler County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Monte Mayer said the unrest tended to be racial. “Back in 2005 when it happened, there was a lot of racial unrest,” Mayer said. “There was a lot of unrest about the whole issue.”
Gmoser said after the alleged crime, Cruz fled the country and escaped to Mexico.
“He was apprehended in Mexico on March 18, 2011,” Gmoser said, adding that the Butler County sheriff and various federal authorities became involved in his arrest.
Gmoser said Cruz was arraigned on four counts of rape and one count of kidnapping. He entered a plea of not guilty and will be tried at a future date.
The Butler County Sheriff’s office became a part of the case after Cruz needed to be tracked down, Mayer said.
“We were very instrumental in working with the marshal’s office and the FBI,” Mayer said, adding that it was close collaboration between the Butler County sheriff’s office and Mexican authorities that led to the arrest.
“Last week, we actually flew to Texas to take possession of him and bring him back to Butler County,” Mayer said.