Two Customs and Border Protection agents accused of performing sexual acts at a local circus show were found not guilty of lewd conduct, a San Diego judge announced Monday.
Witnesses described a dirty public act between off-duty agents, Kallie Helwig, 24, and Gerald Torello, 35, under a circus tent at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on March 27.
The two agents were in the audience watching Cirque du Soleil at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on the evening of March 27. The Sheriff's Department said spectators saw the two touching each other inappropriately.
The woman who deputies say was punched by Helwig described what happened to NBC 7 in a previous article. She asked not to be identified because she didn’t want to put herself or her family at risk.
She said she saw the two off-duty agents heavily kissing as Torello was touching Helwig's breasts. She then saw Helwig's head and hands moving up and down in Torello's lap.
When she told the two to stop, Torello said he couldn't stop Helwig.
Then, the witness said two children turned around and saw the two off-duty agents performing what appeared to be oral sex. Torello gave one of the children a high-five as this was happening, the witness said.
"After they called security, security told them to stop and they did," said Lieutenant Ken Nelson of the Sheriff's Department.
However, the witness said she couldn't get security to help the situation until she used a strobe-light app on her phone, which caught the attention of an usher. The usher then saw the agents and they stopped. As the crowd was exiting, Helwig allegedly attacked the woman, hitting her in the face.
"My vision went black, and that was the last thing I felt," the witness said.
The victim's husband said Torello also tried to get involved. After the fight had settled down, a security guard asked if the victim wanted to press charges, and she replied yes.
She suffered minor injuries, including minor vision impairment and bruises on her face and arms, she said.
Helwig was cited for misdemeanor battery. Torello was taken to the Sheriff's Department's Encinitas Substation, cited and then released.
Jurors were hung on two counts pertaining to lewd acts. They did find Helwig guilty of battery.
Lt. Nelson said in a previous article that statements from the witnesses did not warrant an arrest for lewd acts in public.
Customs and Border Patrol released the following statement about the incident:
“All Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner while on or off duty. CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe. CBP takes every allegation of misconduct seriously and fully cooperates in the investigation of such allegations. Presently, the two employees in question have been assigned administrative duties.”
Both agents have been with the Customs and Border Patrol since 2008.