Gomez given 25 to 40 yearsPublished 3:00pm Friday, December 10, 2010
He had a courtroom full of supporters and several letters written to the court on his behalf.
What the Dowagiac resident did not have on his side was the evidence.
DNA evidence was critical in October when a jury found Gomez guilty of 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct and one count of domestic violence.
On Friday, Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Gomez to 25 to 40 years in prison with credit for 45 days already served — a mandatory sentence by Michigan law. He will also have lifelong electronic monitoring after his release.
According to testimony during the trial, Gomez, 31, had been regularly sexually abusing a minor for a period of more than a year.
The victim was too emotional to address the court but had Chief Assistant Prosecutor Frank Machnik read a statement.
“You can deny and continue to lie the rest of your life,” Machnik read. “But three people know the truth — you, me and God … you have robbed me of a lot of things, but one thing you won’t take from me is my future. I hope you go to prison for a long time and sit in there and remember what you’ve done to me.”
During his statement to the court, Gomez continued to deny his guilt.
“(People) can say whatever they want because I know what kind of man I am,” he said. “I know the truth.”
Gomez also said he felt he didn’t get a fair trial. He ended by asking the court for mercy.
“My family has been through hell,” he said. “Be compassionate toward my family. I want to take care of my kids.”
Dodge was not swayed.
“When you ask for mercy, I have no discretion,” Dodge said, referencing the state-mandated sentence for such a crime.
Details about the victim have been omitted to protect the victim’s identity.