A 22-year-old Sanger man was sentenced to 24 years in prison Tuesday for the sexual assault and kidnapping of a Parlier woman.
The attack happened near Earl Ruth Park on Dec. 19, 2016 at about 7 p.m. on a Saturday.
Police said Eduardo Giovanni Gonsalez was driving a minivan near First and J streets when he approached the victim and asked for directions. He then forced her at gunpoint to get in his vehicle. He drove to a rural area, where he sexually assaulted her.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Micheal Idiart gave Gonsalez the maximum punishment of 24 years in prison, after the defendant pleaded no contest to felony counts of sodomy by use of force, sexual penetration by force and kidnapping.
The victim, who was in court Tuesday, chose not to speak. She had a victim’s advocate read her statement . In it, she describes how the trauma of the attack has forever changed her life. She was walking back to her home with cookies when she crossed paths with Gonsalez.
Little did she know it would change her life dramatically. The victim said she has suffered from paranoia, depression and is currently in therapy.
“Getting a call about the sentencing date was the best news I have heard in a while, but it also brought up all those haunted memories of that night,” she said in her statement. “I hope my attacker goes away for a very long and miserable time for everything he has done for me.”
She went on to say, in the statement, that it was difficult to enter the courtroom where he attacker sat.
“But I am here to stand up for myself and any other woman he attacked,” according to the statement.
As part of a plea deal, the Fresno County District Attorney’s office dropped two charges: kidnapping to commit robbery and second degree robbery.
Prosecutor Kaitlin Drake urged to the judge to issue the maximum punishment allowed under the charges he pleaded to. The judge agreed.
Defense attorney Roger Nuttall said Gonsalez could have faced life in prison, if he didn’t agree to a deal.
“He has no criminal history and is the only son of a good family,” Nuttall said. “He is truly sorry for what he’s done and even wrote an apology letter.”
Idiart said Gonsalez must serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for parole.