Lubbock man arrested for sexually assaulting adoptive daughters
A Lubbock man is facing 16 counts of continuous sexual abuse.
By Robin Pyle
A Lubbock man is facing 16 counts of continuous sexual abuse against children. Police say he sexually assaulted his four adoptive daughters for more than six years.
Lubbock authorities this week arrested Henrique Cruz, 51, in connection with abuse that allegedly started in 2001, shortly after Cruz and his wife adopted the girls, who ranged from ages 5 to 11 at the time, according to court documents.
This summer, Cruz admitted to a Lubbock CPS worker he had molested his four adoptive daughters over the years, according to his arrest warrant issued this week.
His attorney, Jeff Nicholson, said, “We expect to cooperate with law enforcement.” He added he hadn’t reviewed any reports yet of the specific allegations so he couldn’t comment further on Tuesday.
Nicholson said Cruz retained his services in July or August, shortly after authorities launched an investigation.
Police began investigating after one of the girls told her adoptive mother — Cruz’s ex-wife — he had repeatedly touched her private parts, according to the arrest warrant. The child said the sexual abuse began around the year 2002 and continued until she moved away from Cruz in June 2009.
One of the girls said the abuse started when she was 8 years old and that she and Cruz were alone in their house on 90th Street in Lubbock.
One of the girls said her adoptive father would sneak into the bathroom and act like he was bringing her a towel, according to court documents. Other times, the attacks would take place in the child’s bedroom.
The girl said when she got older, her adoptive father began to demand she allow him to touch her if she needed money or wanted to go somewhere, according to her statement to police.
She said he told her not to tell anybody, and she said she feared the repercussions if she did.
The girl said the abuse continued during visitations after her adoptive parents divorced in 2005.
Two of his adoptive daughters made statements to authorities, but two of the children have refused to talk with police or confirm the allegations.
The adoptive daughters now range in age from 14 to 20 years old.
According to court documents, Cruz admitted to molesting them all for years, starting before they were all 14.
The Cruz couple adopted the four girls, who were blood sisters, and their little brother, but it was unknown if the children were adopted from the foster care system.
Paul Zimmerman, regional spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said the process to adopt a child from foster care in Texas comes with extensive background checks.
“It’s a pretty extensive process when it comes to screening,” he said.
Zimmerman noted the process included mandatory classes by adoptive parents as well as a home study, which in total could take as long as six months.
The state also requires a six-month check after the adoption has taken place just to “double check” that the situation is working out. However, the state doesn’t have any legal bounds for monitoring a family after the first six-month period has passed.
Zimmerman was checking to see if the agency had any details about the Cruz adoption that could be released, but didn’t get back to The Avalanche-Journal before deadline. He couldn’t comment on the case before checking records.
Cruz was being held in the Lubbock County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of a $150,000 bond, according to jail records. Cruz, who had a listed address in the 7500 block of 19th Street, was booked into the jail on Monday afternoon.
He didn’t have a prior criminal history in Lubbock County, according to courthouse records.