Guerrero hearing: former jockey claims 2010 sexual assaults

by | 01.17.2012 | 9:44pm

A hearing officer for the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission heard testimony on Tuesday in the exclusion case of leading trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero from Parx Racing, the Bensalem, Pa., racetrack formerly known as Philadelphia Park.

Guerrero was banned by track management for 10 years after the 40-year-old married father of two was charged by Bensalem Township Police with indecent assault after a Nov. 16 incident involving an employee of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. The woman was identified in a Daily Racing Form article as 23-year-old Stephanie Smith.

Charges against Guerrero were subsequently dismissed by the district attorney's office, but Parx refused to reverse its private property exclusion of Guerrero, saying he represented a “potential threat to all the women of our backstretch.” Guerrero appealed the exclusion to the racing commission.

Guerrero and Smith both testified, according to Daily Racing Form's David Grening, with Guerrero saying he was only “playfully patting” Smith on the buttocks. Smith said Guerrero kissed her on the mouth and touched her buttocks when hugging her. He admitted to sending Smith a text message apology for “acting like an ass,” but testified the apology was for ignoring Smith when their paths crossed, not for the incident that led to his exclusion.

Former jockey Carey Kifer testified that Guerrero sexually assaulted her on two occasions at his Parx Racing barn office in 2010. The incidents were not reported, according to the Form.

Kifer began crying during her testimony and, according to the Form, said to Guerrero: “I do hate you.”

Guerrero denied assaulting Kifer.

A decision from state hearing officer Jackie Lutz is not expected for a minimum of seven weeks, the Form reported. Until then, Guerrero will not be allowed to race horses at Parx. Many of the horses in his care have been turned over to his brother, Guadalupe Guerrero. Juan Carlos Guerrero has been racing at Aqueduct.

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