Charges dropped against jailer

William Thompson

Robert Gonzales, the Quay County Juvenile Detention Center employee who was arrested and charged in November with criminal sexual acts, has had all charges against him dismissed in Quay County Magistrate Court.
However, evidence will now be presented against Gonzales before a grand jury, his supervisor at the detention center said.

Magistrate Judge Edwin Bruhn on Jan. 28 dismissed all four counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor that had been levied against Gonzales, court documents show.

Three juvenile females told criminal investigators the alleged illegal acts occurred at the Quay County Juvenile Detention Center on four separate occasions, beginning in December 2002. Gonzales was arrested and charged last November, while he was working as a juvenile detention center officer.

Anthony Elebario, the detention center’s administrator, said Gonzales is still employed by the detention center.

“Mr. Gonzales is on administrative leave with pay,” Elebario said. “He’s still an employee of ours, but the district attorney in the case has apparently re-filed. It’s going before a grand jury next week.”

Judge Bruhn said the prosecutor’s office wanted the charges against Gonzales dismissed in magistrate court so the case could go before a grand jury.

“If the grand jury decides there is enough evidence to proceed further, then the case will be tried in 10th Judicial District Court,” Bruhn said.

Bruhn said the grand jury proceedings will begin on Tuesday.

Donald Schutte, the district attorney, could not be reached for comment.