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August 29, 2003

Deaf man held in Lowell rape after meeting on the Internet

From: Lowell Sun, MA - Aug 29, 2003


CAMBRIDGE A friendly rendezvous between a deaf woman and a California man she met over the Internet took a nasty turn when the Lowell woman accused him of beating and raping her.

David Gonzales of Freemont was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail at his arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court on Aug. 11 after he pleaded innocent to three counts of rape.

Gonzales, whose age was not made available, is also charged with indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, assault and battery on a disabled person causing serious bodily injury, threats and intimidation.

Prosecutor Marian Ryan alleges in court documents that this past spring, the woman, whose age is unavailable, began talking to Gonzales via an online chat room frequented by the hearing-impaired. Gonzales is also deaf.

As their chats continued, Gonzales allegedly told the woman he would like to visit her in Massachusetts. Plans were made for Gonzales to stay with her beginning July 1,and stay for two weeks.

The woman and her 5-year-old daughter, plus several members of her family, picked up Gonzales on Logan Airport in Boston. She was able to recognize him because he had sent a letter with his photograph.

Very early in the visit, Gonzales had talked with the woman about having a romantic relationship, but she repeatedly told him she just wanted to be friends.

On July 6, Gonzales, the woman and her daughter attended a festival in Lowell. Afterward, the woman's daughter asked to stay overnight with her grandparents.

After returning home with Gonzales, sometime after midnight the woman was using the computer in her bedroom when Gonzales allegedly became upset that she was talking with other friends on-line. He allegedly demanded sex and became angry when she refused, punching her several times in face and on the arm.

Gonzales allegedly told the woman to go into the bedroom, which she did for fear of being hit again, Ryan alleges. Gonzales then sexually assaulted and raped the woman, telling her she was cute and should smile despite her pleas that he stop, the prosecutor alleges.

Afterward, Gonzales allegedly warned the woman not to tell anyone and demanded she return to him his letter and photograph. If she told anyone, Gonzales allegedly threatened to hurt her daughter and other members of her family.

Soon afterward, Gonzales told the woman to drive him to the Lowell train station so that he could get to Logan Airport for his return flight. Immediately after dropping him off, the woman told her mother about the incident and she went to the hospital. She was treated for injuries to her face and bruises to her arm. The police were notified.

Police arrested Gonzales on July 8, just before he could catch the early-morning flight out of the airport.

On July 25, while being held in the Cambridge Jail, Gonzales wrote a letter to the woman allegedly admitting he assaulted her but denying he had raped her. He mentions her daughter and her family, then instructs her to tell the district attorney's office that she has been lying.

Gonzales' next court date is Sept. 8.

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