One Year Ago Today (October 19, 2021)…A 1984 Olympic boxing champion was sentenced to three years and eight months in state prison after pleading no contest to lewd acts with two teenage girls.
Paul Gonzales, 57, was ordered to register as a sex offender for life immediately after his no contest plea to one count each of lewd act on a child under 14 and lewd act on a child age 14 or 15, according to Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson.
Gonzales was charged in January 2018 with lewd acts with a 13-year-old girl.
Authorities said he met the girl while he was working for the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department as the head coach at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Club on East Olympic Boulevard in East Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation after being contacted by one of the girl’s family members, sheriff’s Lt. Todd Deeds said shortly after the case was filed against Gonzales.
A second case was filed earlier this year involving a 14-year-old girl, whom Gonzales didn’t meet through his work as a coach, according to the prosecutor.
At Gonzales’ arraignment in January 2018, one of his defense attorneys, Joseph Gutierrez, unsuccessfully argued that cameras should be excluded from the downtown Los Angeles courtroom during the hearing, telling a judge that the case had drawn media coverage because of Gonzales’ past that could compromise his safety behind bars.
He noted that Gonzales had won a gold medal for the United States as a light flyweight.