Northeast Tarrant

Teen gets 20 years for fondling student at Hurst elementary

Ricardo Lugo, 18, of Fort Worth
Ricardo Lugo, 18, of Fort Worth Courtesy

A teen who groped a third-grade boy at a Hurst elementary school and recruited other victims was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday.

Hurst police said Ricardo Lugo, 18, of Fort Worth posed as a 12-year-old last year to enroll at Hurst Hills Elementary School where the incidents occurred.

Lugo on Monday was sentenced to 20 years for indecency with a child, the maximum sentence for the charge, according to court records.

He must serve 10 years in prison before he is eligible for parole, a prosecutor said Monday.

In addition, he was sentenced to 10 years of probation with deferred adjudication for possession with intent to promote child pornography. He had seven counts of possession of child porn and three counts of promotion of child porn.

If he violates his probation, he faces a potential 130 years in prison, according to court records.

“He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Martin Purselley on Monday who added that Lugo must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Lugo remained in the Tarrant County Jail, where he has been since his arrest late last year.

Randy Ray Wesson, 29, who authorities said posed as Lugo’s father, pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal charges of possession of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of receipt of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Wesson of Fort Worth has told investigators that he sexually abused more than 100 children and possessed about 42,000 images of child pornography.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 3 in a Fort Worth federal courtroom.

Wesson told authorities that he met Lugo on Instragram in December 2013 or January 2014, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Lugo told Wesson he was unhappy living in Juarez, Mexico.

The Fort Worth man drove to El Paso in March 2014, picked up Lugo and brought him back to live in the Fort Worth/Dallas area.

Wesson admitted to authorities that he had a sexual relationship with Lugo, according to the affidavit.

Hurst police have said Wesson falsified a birth certificate to enroll Lugo in the sixth grade under the name “Matthew Drew Wesson.” Hurst Hills is in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district.

An investigation began when an online tip was sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on June 8, 2014 that associated Instragram account “littleboy8” with an email address associated with Wesson, according to the affidavit.

The group forward to Dallas Police Department’s child exploitation unit, which then forwarded the case to Hurst police.

Wesson and Lugo were arrested in November 2014.

A search of Lugo’s cell phone by authorities uncovered photographs of children and one video dated Aug. 31, 2014, showed Lugo spanking a child, according to the affidavit.

Lugo told Wesson on Sept. 14, 2014 that a child told him he always wanted someone to touch him, the affidavit stated.

This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr