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Ogden man with previous animal cruelty case gets prison for child abuse

By Mark Shenefelt - | May 4, 2022

MARK SHENEFELT, Standard-Examiner

The 2nd District Court building in Ogden is pictured Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

OGDEN — An Ogden man convicted seven years ago of fatally torturing a dog is now headed to prison for burning and beating a boy.

Judge Jennifer Valencia on April 28 sentenced Sir-Romeo Rojelio Javier Lucero, 30, to up to 15 years in the Utah State Prison after he pleaded no contest to second-degree felony child abuse, inflicting serious physical injury intentionally.

Ogden Police Department charging documents said Lucero was arrested in September 2019 after day care workers noticed a burn and several other wounds on the boy.

In a Children’s Justice Center interview, the child said the injuries were caused by falling down or burns from the sun. But a few days later at a shelter, the boy said Lucero caused the injuries and he was afraid of him.

The boy said Lucero repeatedly hit him with a belt and that the burn was caused when Lucero held his hand to a space heater as punishment. The boy also said Lucero made him take very hot or cold baths, threw objects at him and hit him with his hands.

Lucero also was charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a child in the case, but the charge was dismissed in a plea bargain.

In 2015, Lucero was the first person in Weber County to be charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals. The Legislature had increased the maximum penalty for animal cruelty — the previous maximum was a class A misdemeanor.

The charge was filed after Lucero’s 3-year-old female pit bull, Remmy, was found tethered in the yard with an extremely short cord, her muzzle thickly wrapped with rubber bards. The bands were so tight, they imprinted the dog’s tongue. A necropsy said the animal suffocated.

Lucero, who told police he was angry at the dog because she had chewed some personal items, pleaded guilty in a plea bargain to a reduced charge of class A misdemeanor aggravated animal cruelty. Judge Michael DiReda sentenced him to a year in jail, with 320 days of the penalty suspended. The judge allowed Lucero to serve the remainder of the term through the Weber County Jail’s day reporting center.

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