West Texas Monster Who Preyed on Child Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison
A Texas person (I don't want to call him a "man") who committed an abhorrent crime against a 9-year-old girl will spend the next three decades behind bars.
According to the Department of Justice, 27-year-old Damien Dre Gonzales of Levelland, Texas pleaded guilty in February to one count of kidnapping. This week, he was sentenced to 365 months (30.4 years) in prison.
According to plea papers, Gonzales admitted to abducting a little girl from a birthday party late last summer. Sadly, he wasn't just in trouble for taking off with her.
In August of 2020, Gonzales was a birthday party when a woman in attendance began choking. While people were distracted or rushing to help the woman, Gonzales lured the girl away from the crowd and convinced her to help him load alcohol into his car. He then persuaded the child to get into his vehicle and drove away with her.
When her family realized she was missing, a frantic search began and police reviewed home surveillance footage revealing that Gonzales lured the girl to his vehicle.
As officers were reviewing the footage, the Levelland Police Department received a report about a car parked in the middle of a street several miles from the party. Police found Gonzales's vehicle at the scene and discovered him inside the car with the child and his pants unzipped.
Investigators determined that Gonzales had undressed and touched the girl before police arrived, and found a condom missing from a box in his car.
The poor girl was reunited with her family and given medical and psychological treatment.
Gonzales will serve a lengthy prison sentence, but is it enough? And why was he only charged with kidnapping if investigators say he sexually assaulted the child?
I really can't fathom what sort of legal shenanigans resulted in Gonzales only being charged with kidnapping. How do we even wrap our minds around something like this?
I don't think 30 years is enough, but I doubt Gonzales' stay in prison will be a pleasant one.
Do you think that's any solace to the victim or her family, though?