CLEVELAND – A 55-year-old former Cleveland patrolman entered guilty pleas Wednesday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to several charges, including unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.
Sentencing for Mario Lozada is set for next month.
He was arrested by Garfield Heights police in November after he was found to be in a vehicle with a 15-year-old girl and a gun. He was a Cleveland patrol officer at that time.
Officials say he retired a short time after his November arrest.
A police report from November states, Lozada was pulled over on a traffic violation after an officer saw the dark-colored SUV he was driving go through Jack C. Donovan Park, which closes at dark. The vehicle was stopped a short time later for a traffic violation.
When Garfield police pulled over the vehicle, the officer noticed a firearm in the back-seat of the SUV and ordered both parties to keep their hands visible.
The 15-year-old first told police that Lozada was her step-father, who had been in a relationship with her mother for three years. Lozada also told officers he met the girl because he had been in a relationship with her mother. However, the girl’s mother was called to the scene and said she did not know him and never met him.
Garfield officers found his Cleveland police uniform shirt and badge in the rear of the vehicle.