MOHAVE VALLEY – A Fontana, California man has been sentenced to the Arizona Department of Corrections for having sex with a 14-year-old Mohave Valley girl. Defense attorney Elana Sears sought more lenient punishment for 30-year-old Silvestre Gonalez.
“My client has always felt extreme remorse over what went on, but he can’t take it back,” Sears said during a Jan. 19 hearing before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen.
“I want to apologize to the family of the victim,” Gonzalez said. “I know I made a terrible, terrible mistake.”
Deputy Mohave County Attorney Amanda Claerhout questioned the assessment of mistake, contending Gonzalez’ conduct was predatory. She said Gonzalez used a false name and fake profile and Snapchat to communicate with the victim.
Claerhout said the victim was duped by Gonzalez’ expression of love and commitment to being a couple before he drove to Arizona and had sex with the teenager in his vehicle parked outside her home.
“They did have sex. This did happen,” Claerhout said. “He did everything he could think of to hide his identity to get away with this.”
Claerhout said Gonzalez may never have been caught had it not been for an observant neighbor. She said a retired law enforcement professional wrote down the defendant’s license plate number after suspicion about the Gonzalez vehicle parked on their street.
The victim told Judge Jantzen that Gonzalez changed her life, that she has been traumatized and has engaged in self-harming behavior. Her father called the defendant “an animal.”
Judge Jantzen said the victim’s statement was impactful as he addressed Gonzalez.
“She’s half your age and you’ve changed her life forever,” Jantzen said. “These types of cases are offensive to everyone.”
Jantzen ordered a 10-year prison term. Through a plea agreement, Gonzalez is convicted of a charge reduced to attempted sexual conduct with a minor.