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Man Charged in Assault of Girl at Gym

By Jeff Proctor
Journal Staff Writer
          Juan Gonzalez told police he has "problems touching little children" after he was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl at an Albuquerque gym, officials said.
        Gonzalez, a 20-year-old Mexican national, was being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center late Thursday on a $200,000 cash-only bond, jail records show. He is charged with criminal sexual penetration, kidnapping and evidence tampering.
        Police arrived at New Mexico Sports and Wellness, 4100 Prospect NE, around 10 p.m. Tuesday after the alleged victim's mother called to say her daughter had been assaulted, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
        Sex crimes detectives interviewed Gonzalez at the gym, where he has a membership, Deputy Police Chief Beth Paiz said.
        He told officers that he had assaulted the girl in the children's playroom and that he knew "touching children is wrong because they don't know what they're doing," according to the complaint.
        Witnesses told detectives the girl had yelled: "Stop" several times while Gonzalez was assaulting her, according to the complaint. The girl told detectives that Gonzalez had covered her mouth during the alleged assault.
        Gonzalez told authorities he took a shower after the alleged assault, according to the complaint, "possibly to try to wash away evidence."
        Tuesday wasn't the first time Gonzalez has been accused of sexual assault, Paiz said.
        He told detectives that, when he was 13 years old, he had assaulted a boy and a girl in separate incidents, she said.
        Paiz said she expected U.S. Customs and ICE officials to be looking into Gonzalez's immigration status in the coming days.
       

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