Ex-jailer’s trial begins

William Thompson: Quay County Sun

A former Quay County Juvenile Detention Center guard admitted in videotaped testimony that he had consensual sexual activity with three juvenile female inmates.

Robert Gonzales faced his first day of court Tuesday. He is charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor.

Prosecutor Donald Schutte showed jurors a videotape of an interview between Dina Orozco, a state police investigator, and Gonzales. On the tape, Orozco told Gonzales she knew he did not force the girls to engage in sexual activity.

“I know these girls consented,” Orozco told Garcia, “It’s true they consented, right?”

Gonzales answered quietly, “Right.”

Defense attorney Michael T. Garrett cross-examined Orozco in the courtroom. Orozco said that 20 out of 31 female inmates she interviewed for the case said they had no complaints against Gonzales while he was their guard.

Two of Gonzales1 accusers took the stand Tuesday. The first said she was 17 when Gonzales molested her at the detention center in December 2002. She said Gonzales touched her inappropriately.

Garrett asked her if she had reported the incident. She replied she hadn’t.

The second former inmate to testify against Gonzales also said she was touched inappropriately by Gonzales.

She said she was 16 at the time of the incident. She said she notified a jail employee the following evening, thus initiating the investigation into Gonzales’ conduct.

Both former inmates testified that their families were suing Quay County for monetary damages.

Garrett and Schutte both declined to comment after Tuesday’s proceedings. The trial continues today.