Former Cleveland police officer sentenced to 8 years for unlawful sexual conduct with minors

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Mario Lozada was sentenced to 8 years Tuesday on charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

The former Cleveland patrol officer was arrested by Garfield Heights in November of 2018.

He was found in a car with a 15-year-old girl and a gun.

Mario Lozada

He was an officer at the time and had been with the Cleveland Police Department for 26 years.

He pleaded guilty to the charges last month.

In his sentencing hearing, Lozada's attorney said he received an award for heroism in the past.

He is married and has an 18-year-old.

He says he has been going to counseling and is very sorry for his actions.

Prosecutors said he used his position as a police officer to gain the trust of young girls.

Mothers of two victims addressed the court.

One mother read a letter from her daughter.

"I feel used and lied to and completely taken advantage of...you knew I was desperate enough to do things to get what I needed."

The victim says he gave her marijuana and alcohol and waited down the street for her to sneak out of the house.

"Despite the fact that you are a cop and a father, you are just a human being who I believe knows better and should have done better," she read in the statement.

"I would go as far as saying you are a manipulative pedophile."

Lozada apologized and cried during the hearing.

He apologized to the victims, his family and the Cleveland Police department.

"I really apologize for everything I did," he said.

The judge ordered Lozada to apologize to his father.

"I'm sorry I put you through this," he said, crying. "I really am."

His father spoke during the sentencing and apologized for his son's actions.

Continuing coverage here.

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