LAWFUEL – Law News Network – A former deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
was sentenced today to 360 months in federal prison for raping a woman,
forcing another woman to perform oral sex, and fondling a third woman’s
breasts, all while on duty.
Gabriel Gonzalez, 38, of Chino Hills, was sentenced this
afternoon by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder.
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Snyder heard from two of
the victims who said the assaults had had a devastating impact on their
lives. “I feel as if I am carrying a heavy weight that my rapist has
forced me to carry my whole life,” one woman told the court.
Gozalez was convicted of three civil rights offenses on February
27 following a two-week jury trial.
The evidence at trial showed that Gonzalez pulled over one woman
for an alleged traffic violation, drove her to a secluded location, and
raped her. Gonzalez stopped another woman for jaywalking, drove her to
an alley and forced her to perform oral sex. Gonzalez stopped a third
woman for an alleged traffic violation and fondled her breasts under the
pretense of searching her for drugs.
“This officer willfully violated his duty to protect and to
serve though an appalling series of sexual assaults,” said Wan J. Kim,
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice
Department. “No one is above the law and the Department of Justice is
committed to vigorously enforcing the criminal civil rights laws that
the vast majority of law enforcement officers work tirelessly to uphold
United States Attorney Debra Wong Yang stated: “Every sexual
assault is a brutal and devastating crime. But, a sexual assault
committed under the color of law is even more heinous and deserves to be
Gonzalez was an eight-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department
when he was suspended in August 2004. He quit the department earlier
this year after being informed by the department that he was going to be
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s
Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by
attorneys from the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section of the
United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and the Justice
Department’s Civil Rights Division.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Caroline C.
Release No. 06-105