Youngstown tow truck operator found guilty on all charges in teen sex case

Local News

Alex Bugno may face more than 50 years in prison

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Mahoning County grand jury found a Youngstown businessman guilty on all sex charges against him.

County prosecutors say this case has been ongoing since 2014.

Alex Bugno was charged with sex crimes including compelling prostitution and pandering obscenity.

Prosecutors say Bugno paid two teenage boys to engage in sex acts with him.

Mahoning County prosecutors told jurors Bugno preyed on his two teenage victims repeatedly over a course of several months in 2014.

“Every time it happened, it would be very similar. The defendant would ask him to disrobe, the defendant would take his own clothes off, the defendant would perform oral sex,” said Atty. Jennifer McLaughlin, assistant Mahoning County prosecutor.

“They’re kids who would lower themselves to let the defendant perform oral sex on them for money. Getting a few hundred bucks is a big deal,” McLaughlin said.

But defense lawyers argued that the pair made the whole thing up after one of the teenagers was thrown off Bugno’s towing company lot on the city’s south side.

Lawyers claimed that the victims’ stories were “riddled” with inconsistencies.

“This wasn’t a case where they start trickling out more and more information each time they talked, this is a case where they start wholly changing the facts,” Attorney Lynn Maro said.

The jury spent several hours Friday afternoon deliberating before finding Bugno guilty.

“He’s looking at a potential penalty of up to 50 years in prison, and he will also be required to register as a Tier 2 sex offender, based on the counts,” said Assistant Prosecutor Steve Yacovone.

Bugno will be sentenced on Monday.

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