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South Bay Digest

Torrance : Ex-Deputy Guilty of Rape

August 14, 1986

A former Riverside County sheriff's deputy found guilty three years ago of sexually assaulting a teen-age girl in the back seat of his patrol car was convicted by a Torrance jury of raping and robbing an elderly woman.

After listening to six days of testimony, the jury on Tuesday found Rick Alan Gonzales, 32, guilty of two counts of rape and one count each of robbery and burglary stemming from the April, 1985, attack on a 65-year-old Torrance woman.

Gonzales was free on an appeal bond when the Torrance robbery and rape occurred in the woman's home. The appeal had been denied, and Gonzales was scheduled to surrender to authorities shortly after the Torrance assault.

Superior Court Judge Morio L. Fukuto ordered Gonzales back to court Sept. 10 for sentencing. He could receive more than 25 years in prison, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Judith Cohen, who prosecuted the case. The former deputy already faces 10 years in prison for his Riverside County conviction.

During the trial, Gonzales contended that the elderly woman, whom he once lived next door to, had mistakenly identified him as her attacker. Additionally, he had asserted that he had been attending a party when the attack occurred, Cohen said. At least four witnesses, two of whom were his cousins, corroborated his alibi, she said.

Gonzales' attorney, John Barnett, said he intends to file a motion for a new trial in Torrance, but declined to state the grounds.

Gonzales has been held without bail in Los Angeles County Jail since his arrest in Torrance.

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