Sex assault suspect freed on $25,000 bond

Feb. 13, 2013 @ 06:35 PM

A man charged in connection with a sexual assault at Walmart in Monroe has since been released from the Union County Jail.

Pedro Julio Rucci, 53, was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery and resist delay and obstruct Feb. 6 after groping a Walmart employee.

"He lured one of the Walmart employees into a back storage area," Sgt. Mike Smith of the Monroe Police Department said.

He lured the employee by telling her there was a spill, he said.

"He just basically groped her and she was able to escape and inform her coworkers," Smith said.

Police were called and Rucci was arrested. The day before that incident, Rucci had been pulled over for a tag violation, during which, a gun was found in his vehicle and he was cited for carrying a concealed weapon. Since his arrest on Feb. 6, Rucci made his $25,000 bond and was released from the Union County Jail, Smith said.

Carolyn Baker, who is the mother of the woman assaulted by Rucci, said she is not happy about his release or the charges he received.

Her daughter, who is developmentally disabled, is planned to soon start counseling to help cope with the incident and has since gone back to work with the help of job coaches, who currently go with her to work, Baker said.

"She's doing OK, she's calm," Baker said in reference to her daughter's condition since the assault.

She and other members of her family are upset about the situation. She feels that Rucci should have received felony charges in the incident and that it should have been harder for him to be released from jail. Since the assault, her daughter has told her that she was scared and worried about returning to work. Her daughter's job coaches have helped her to face her fear and return to her job, Baker said.

Her daughter has been with Walmart about 20 years. She worked there as a greeter until last year when the company did away with greeters and she now works in the grocery department, Baker said.