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Mott man charged with sexually abusing stepdaughter

A Mott man will go to trial next month for allegedly sexually abusing his stepdaughter eight years ago. Albert Gonzales, 31, faces life in prison if convicted of Class AA felony continuous sexual abuse of a child. He was charged in March for alle...

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Albert Gonzalez

A Mott man will go to trial next month for allegedly sexually abusing his stepdaughter eight years ago.
Albert Gonzales, 31, faces life in prison if convicted of Class AA felony continuous sexual abuse of a child. He was charged in March for alleged actions in 2006 and 2007, starting when the girl was 9, according to court documents.
According to the complaint, Gonzales engaged in a series of sexual acts with his stepdaughter. The alleged victim was 9 years old and 10 years old at the time of the acts, according to an affidavit filed by Hettinger County Sheriff Sarah Warner. The child described the acts in a session with a forensic interviewer at the Northern Plains Children’s Advocacy Center in Minot. She identified Gonzales, her stepfather, as the alleged perpetrator.
Gonzales is being held at the Dickinson Adult Detention Center on a $50,000 cash bond.
Gonzales did not accept a plea offer from the state and didn’t seem likely to accept any adjusted offer, Hettinger County State’s Attorney James Gion said at the pretrial conference Tuesday at the Stark County Courthouse.
At the hearing, the lawyers also brought up concerns over the victim’s involvement in the trial. She is now 17 years old but will be 18 at the time of the trial, leaving the court in a gray area for how she is treated, Gion said. The court may appoint a legal guardian to represent her interests, including at her deposition.
If Southwestern Judicial District Judge Zane Anderson rules that the trial should proceed with protections, as if the alleged victim were still under 18, the courtroom may be closed during her testimony. The trial is set to begin Oct. 22.
Both Gion and public defender Kevin McCabe said a two-day trial would be appropriate, mostly to allow the time for jury selection, which is expected to take a while.

Lymn is a reporter for The Dickinson Press. Contact her at 701-456-1211.

Related Topics: CRIMEDICKINSON
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