Pinellas jury finds pair guilty of abuse in Shefights website tr - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas jury finds pair guilty of abuse in Shefights website trial

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL - Two people accused of abusing a mentally disabled man for the notorious shefights.net website were found guilty by a Pinellas County jury late Thursday afternoon.

Pinellas prosecutors say the St. Petersburg-based website's producer Jeffery Williams and one of his female fighters, ZuZu Vargo, took advantage of a mentally disabled man they hired to take a beating.

Related content: 'Shefights' website challenges suit brought by homeless man

The jury deliberated for about two hours before reaching a verdict. Williams and Vargo were both convicted of aggravated abuse of a disabled adult. They could face up to 30 years in prison. The sentencing phase of the trial will be held at a later date. Williams had been awaiting trial in jail since April 2012.

During the trial, James Cayer testified he was recruited out of Williams Park by Vargo, who went by the stage name "Cindy." Cayer testified he was offered 20 or 25 dollars if he would get in the ring with Vargo for a bout in which he was not allowed to fight back or defend himself.

Here is a sample of the questioning in court, between Cayer and the State Attorney:

Attorney: Did you have fun in the ring with Cindy? Cayer: No. Attorney: Did it feel good to you for some reason?  Cayer: Nope. Attorney:  Did it feel good afterwards? Cayer: No.

Wednesday, prosecutors played a video in which Vargo repeated kicked and punched Cayer. he could be heard groaning loudly with each blow in the 2011 video titled "A Very Painful Beating."

Cayer testified his ten minutes in the ring with Vargo hurt "big time" and he was sore enough after the fight to seek treatment at a local hospital.

Prosecutors said Cayer is mildly mentally retarded and has the capacity of a ten-year old.

Related content: 'Shefights' website calls videos more sexual than violent

Defense lawyers say Cayer was competent enough to earn a certificate from high school and to sign a release for his participation. Cayer said he was too ashamed at the time to admit he didn't understand what he was signing.

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