Providence officer takes stand in assault trial

This is a photo of Jeann Lugo in Providence District Court. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A suspended Providence police officer took the stand as his assault trial continued Thursday.

Jeann Lugo, 35, is accused of assaulting his former political opponent at an abortion rights rally in June.

While off-duty, Lugo allegedly punched Jennifer Rourke in the face. His attorney claims Rourke punched him first.

In August, Rourke testified in court, and identified Lugo as the man that assaulted her.

“When I turned, that’s when I was assaulted, like, it felt like a closed fist and he hit right here, on the left side of my face,” Rourke said.

While on the stand, Lugo said he was at the rally to observe and when he got to the State House steps, he witnessed an assault and stepped in.

Lugo also testified that he didn’t identify himself as a police officer at any point during the incident.

Lugo said Rourke tried to restrain him when he jumped into the crowd and that was when he struck her in response.

Earlier this year, a judge dismissed a disorderly conduct charge against Lugo, but not the simple assault charge.

The judge is set to make a decision on the case in coming weeks.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island