Magic store owner charged with sexually assaulting foster child

A 17–year–old male victim called DHHS to report that he had been abused by his foster parent several times over the past two years. 

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Lincoln Police Department has arrested a man for sexually assaulting his foster child.

42–year–old Graciano Lopez, owner of Jolly Bean’s Magic Castle, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with 1st degree sexual assault.

On March 19, a 17–year–old male victim called the Department of Health and Human Services to report that he had been abused by his foster parent several times over the past two years.

“It took tremendous courage for this 17–year–old to make the call to DHSS, and this is an excellent reason why the Abuse and Neglect Hotline is such a valuable resource,” LPD officer Luke Bonkiewicz said.

Lopez’s magic shop has been in Lincoln for more than five years, selling children’s toys, candy and playing cards, putting on regular magic shows as well.

Kaylynn Dobbins says she took her 5–year–old daughter to Jolly Bean’s for an Easter–themed trunk-or-treat about a month ago.

“I’m shocked,” Dobbins said. “I had actually just talked to him on Facebook two days ago about his next magic show. So I’m really, wow…”

Dobbins says the trunk-or-treat was what exactly what a parent would expect: a bounce house, free cotton candy, balloon animals and face painting.

“It was cheap and it was a good event,” she said. “The actual event was very well put together.”

As for Lopez, himself, Dobbins says there was nothing too unusual about his behavior, but there were a few things that caught her eye.

“I watched him snap at a couple of employees a couple of times, so that was kind of a little bit of a red flag,” she said.

Dobbins says she didn’t see Lopez put his hands on any of the children in attendance, but said that allegations of child abuse against him was disturbing to her.

“That’s terrifying,” she said. “I’m really glad that he wasn’t ever alone with any of the kids, that I know of. It was very well–supervised.”

The investigation is still ongoing as officials work to determine whether there were other foster children placed under the care of Lopez.

LPD is asking the public to report any information pertaining to this case directly to Investigator Chris Champoux using by calling 402-441-8979.

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News