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A 65-year-old Anaheim child molester convicted of sexually assaulting two underage girls in separate cases dating back to 1998 is facing up to 250 years to life in prison, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The convicted molester who presumably would now be eligible for Medicare met his most recent victim, a 13-year-old girl, online and had sex with her numerous times. A 30-year-old co-defendant who is already serving time in the case also had sex with the girl numerous times.

Jose Luis Gonzalez was convicted Wednesday of six counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14 and four counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, all felonies. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 8, and the minimum punishment he faces is 25 years to life, according to Deputy District Attorney Michael Carroll.

Co-defendant Benjamin Avila, 30, of Anaheim, pleaded guilty in April 2015 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Avila attempted to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, but the judge ordered him to answer questions in testimony since he had already pleaded guilty in the case.

After Gonzalez and Avila were charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year- old girl who attended Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo, investigators were able to track down a police report of an Anaheim case in which Gonzalez was accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl, Carroll said.

The case involving the 7-year-old girl in Anaheim was not filed at the time, but became relevant when Gonzalez was accused again, he said.

In the more recent case, Avila and Gonzalez found their victims online, Carroll said.

The two met the 13-year-old online and the two of them had sex with her multiple times over a few months, he said. After the girl told friends at school about Avila, they told their parents, Carroll said.

It was a “concerned” parent who told a school resource officer at Trabuco Hills High in October 2013 about an “inappropriate relationship” between the 13-year-old girl and Avila, according to Orange County sheriff’s officials. The girl subsequently told investigators she had an ongoing “sexual relationship” with a “boyfriend” named Alex Valesquez, who authorities later determined to be Avila. The girl told investigators she also had sex with another man, who she knew as “Alex’s uncle,” who was later identified as Gonzalez.

The sex acts occurred between March and September 2013.

Gonzalez sexually assaulted the Anaheim girl over about a two-year period starting in the spring of 1998, Carroll said.

–City News Service

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