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Police: Man Accused of Sexual Assault Knew Victim was Underage

Israel Gomez, a UConn Health Center employee, is charged with risk of injury to a minor, second-degree sexual assault and using a computer to entice a minor.

The 14-year-old female victim of a reported sexual assault initially lied about her age on Facebook but told police she later confessed her true age to the man she met through the social networking site before meeting him in Avon in December incident.

Israel Gomez, 24, of Hartford, faces charges of risk of injury to a minor, second-degree sexual assault and using a computer to entice a minor.

A judge signed off on the Avon Police Department's arrest warrant Jan. 9. Gomez is scheduled to appear at Hartford Superior Court again Feb. 6.

The arrest comes nearly a month after the victim admitted to police that she had sex with Gomez in his car in the 9 Avonwood Rd. rear parking lot on Dec. 20, police said. That is at a commercial plaza where businesses like Dental Arts of Avon are located. There were cars in the front lot that Thursday and people were likely in the building during that time, the victim told police. The girl had contacted Gomez at 3:15 p.m. that day to say hi and he agreed to drive to Avon to meet her, according to the affidavit.

The victim's brother reported her missing to police the same day at 4:42 p.m. He told police his sister was "grounded for a previous incident" and left without telling him, taking two house phones with her, according to the affidavit. Police met with the victim's brother and mother to discuss her disappearance.

A passing motorist called police later that evening concerned about a "young female individual walking on Waterville Road in the dark with no jacket on," according to the affidavit. Police found her running on the state road near her house.

The minor had friended Gomez on Facebook months before, as the two have a mutual friend, according to the affidavit. They talked "off and on" and over the phone, the victim told police. Her Facebook profile listed her as 19 at the time, but she confessed to Gomez in September that she was actually 13, police said. While the girl told police Gomez was disappointed, they agreed to remain friends.

The victim told police that she resisted while having oral sex before verbally agreeing to having sexual intercourse with him when they met on Dec. 20, the affidavit states.

The victim's brother called Gomez while the two were together, Gomez said. He told the brother his name was Jose and that he didn't know his sister.

"I was worried about getting caught and knew I could got [sic] to jail for what I did," Gomez said in his written statement. "I don't want to have to see my son from behind bars."

Gomez wrote in a statement to police that he drove the victim to a gas station in Bishop's corner in West Hartford after the phone call and bought cigarettes. After concocting a story explaining her whereabouts, Gomez said that he and the victim agreed not to talk about the "sexual activity." The victim lit a cigarette to make it seem like she had been smoking with her friends, Gomez told police. Gomez dropped the girl off on a side street near her house after the incident, police said.

T-Mobile, Gomez's cell phone carrier, pinged his phone the next day and police located him at John Dempsey Hospital (UConn Health Center) in Farmington where he is a parking attendant, according to the affidavit. He voluntarily agreed to go with police to the department to discuss the incident, the court documents stated.

Gomez told police that in addition to Facebook, he communicated with the victim through other social media sites like ooVoo, Skype and kik from his Hartford apartment, according to his written statement. He said the girl originally indicated she was 21, but later told him she was 14.

"I still continued to have sexually explicit conversations with the victim," Gomez wrote in his statement to police, including through web cam use and sharing photos.

Gomez told police he saved a "sexually explicit video" the victim sent him on his phone. The two also "talked about meeting to have sex a couple times," Gomez said in his statement.

"I am sorry for what I did," Gomez wrote in his statement to police. "I know it was wrong and regret having sex with a 14 year old."

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