EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Less than two years ago, a 14-year-old was sexually assaulted by a family friend. Now, the perpetrator, Anthony Fruzia, will walk free at the end of this year after accepting a plea deal.
KRDO does not identify victims of sexual assault, but in this case, the teen boy and his father chose to speak out together about the light punishment.
In May, Fruzia accepted a plea agreement from the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office that includes 90 days in jail and 20 years to life of Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Probation. But the family said the deal’s sentencing isn’t a strong enough punishment.
“The sentence should fit the crime,” said James Logan, the father of the sex assault victim. “It doesn't. Basically, we're going to let him go on his way.”
“He's getting barely any time in jail,” said Nelson Logan, the sex assault victim. “He's not even getting prison, which I feel like he needs.”
Nelson was sexually assaulted by Fruzia at the Antler Hotel in December 2021. The former Boy Scout of America leader from Texas was visiting the Logan’s in Colorado Springs. Nelson said he looked up to the close family friend.
“I saw him as a role model, kind of like a second father figure,” Nelson said.
James said Fruzia betrayed that trust. Fruzia was arrested in Denton County, Texas on February 22 and booked in the El Paso County Jail on March 14 for sexual assault of a minor under the age of 15 and sexual assault of a child. Fruzia is now pleading guilty to sexual assault of a minor in a position of trust — a class 3 felony.
According to the plea agreement, Fruzia will be sentenced to 90 days in jail, much less than the possible penalty of at least 4 years of imprisonment for a class 3 felony.
“It's a slap in the face to us and to people here in Colorado,” James said. “This right here is telling other children and parents, why even come forward if somebody does this to their kid because the penalty for it is not what the penalty should be.”
This isn’t Fruzia’s first alleged victim either. The 50-year-old is named in a federal lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America. According to the 2020 lawsuit, an anonymous victim accuses Fruzia of sexually assaulting him 20 to 30 times over the course of five years, starting in 1991. The alleged abuse began when the victim was 11-years-old. Fruzia was his boy scouts' assistant troop leader.
The lawsuit, filed by the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLC, represents eight separate anonymous victims of alleged abuse during their time with the Boy Scouts of America. The suit claims Boy Scouts of America assisted, enabled, and was complicit in the sexual abuse of the victims.
The Boy Scouts of America said Fruzia was “removed from Scouting in 1996 and placed in the Volunteer Screening Database, thus prohibiting his involvement in Scouting in any capacity.”
Now, the family is concerned there could be more victims if Fruzia is released from jail.
“I'm afraid that he's going to do something to somebody else's kid,” James said. “He's done it more than once. He has a pattern. There's history there.”
“He's done it three times already,” Nelson said referencing the federal lawsuit. “What makes them say he won't do it again?”
The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said the jail sentence of 90 days is the maximum allowed as a condition of the 20 years to life of probation.
“We believe there’s a low likelihood that the judge would immediately sentence the defendant to an indeterminate prison term given the defendant's lack of criminal history and the single incident we were able to charge.”
"We have not been able to find any reported cases by other individuals in Texas against the defendant; have limited access to the information within the civil lawsuit; and don’t believe that the information concerning the other individuals in Texas would meet the proof requirements necessary for a 404(b)/Rojas motion.”
"We definitely understand the family’s frustration at the legal system and victim’s father’s desire to protect his son, but this is a situation where we are actively ensuring significant jail time as well as a conviction on the high count for someone who violated the victim and the victim’s father’s trust.”4th Judicial District Attorney's Office
Fruzia is scheduled to be sentenced in August. Nelson hopes the judge denies the plea deal and sentences Fruzia to at least two years in prison.
“I want him to essentially forget what the sunrise looks like for two years,” Nelson said.