LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Levelland man charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child has now pled guilty to kidnapping, after previously pleading not guilty.
27-year-old Damien Dre Gonzales is currently in the Lubbock County Detention Center, held on a combined bond of $400,000. He is facing a potential sentence of 20 years to life and will have to register as a sex offender. His sentencing date has not been set.
Court documents say Gonzales was at a birthday party in Levelland back in August of 2020.
Gonzales was talking to a 9-year-old girl, talking about buying her a hamster. When the rest of the guests, including the girl’s father, were distracted, helping a woman who was choking, Gonzales asked the girl to help him take some beer to his car.
Gonzales convinced the girl to get in his car and they drove away from the party. Gonzales admitted to police that he took the girl to engage in “illicit sexual intercourse.”
Gonzales drove her several miles away from the party, hit a mailbox and parked his car in the middle of the road. While in the parked car, court documents say Gonzales sexually assaulted the child.
People at the party noticed Gonzales and the child were gone and notified police.
Levelland police received a call about the parked car and went to investigate. They found the car with headlights off, emergency flashers on and the trunk open.
When the patrol car drove up on the vehicle, the child quickly pulled her shirt and shorts back on.
Police approached the vehicle and recognized Gonzales from previous encounters. Officers didn’t believe the story Gonzales told about where he was coming from and where he was going, but they noted that his jeans were unzipped and his belt was unbuckled.
Police say the child was shaking as she approached the officers. The child told adults at the party that Gonzales tried to have sex with her in the car.
Police found a box of condoms in the car, with one missing. They also found methanphetamine in the car.
The child’s father arrived on the scene and tried to attack Gonzales. Officers broke up the fight and put Gonzales in handcuffs. Officers say Gonzales tried to kick his way out by damaging the door.
On his way to the Hockley County Jail, Gonzales told officers he was going to jail for 20 years and threatened to beat them up.
Gonzales is now facing three counts of aggravated sexual assault, including two other girls under 13 years of age.
He is currently being held on $400,000 bond with an additional hold for federal marshals.