Man keeps girl in basement for 18 months

October 29, 2008 9:30:27 AM PDT
A 24-year-old Daly City man accused of molesting an underage girl and later confining her in his parents' basement for 18 months was sentenced to 16 years in state prison today in San Mateo County Superior Court, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

John France Gonzales is alleged to have molested the girl beginning when she was 12 years old and later, unbeknownst to his parents, to have hidden her in his room at their homes in Hayward, and later in Daly City, beating and sexually assaulting her repeatedly until she was 16, according to Deputy District Attorney Melissa McKowan.

According to prosecutors, Gonzales met the girl when she was 10 and he was dating her aunt. After the relationship ended, Gonzales took the girl from her home and then refused to let her leave, threatening that she would not be able to survive on her own, McKowan said.

The incidents took place from October 2002 until November 2006, the district attorney's office reported.

According to the district attorney's office, the girl's parents had reported her as a runaway. When she escaped and told them what had happened, they reported it to police.

Gonzales claims the girl consented to the entire episode. Gonzales had been charged with more than 140 felony counts before reaching a deal with prosecutors.

In July, Gonzales pleaded no contest to 13 counts of various sexual assault charges including child molestation, sodomy, domestic violence, felony threat and unlawful sexual intercourse, or sex with a minor, Wagstaffe said.

Judge Clifford Cretan today sentenced Gonzales to the 16-year prison term.

Gonzales remained in custody on $1 million bail through the duration of his court proceedings, and will now be sent to San Quentin State Prison within the next week, Wagstaffe said.


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