General — 13 February 2016 — by Rowland A. Parks
Francisco Gomez, 39, sentenced to 3 years for sexual assault of girl, 11

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Feb. 10, 2016–Francisco Gomez, 39, a caretaker and resident of Burrell Boom, was sentenced to serve three years in prison this morning by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after she found him guilty on one count of sexual assault. Gomez was also sentenced to two six-month jail terms for common assault and using threatening words.

The additional sentences, however, are to run concurrently with the 3-year sentence, and therefore, Gomez will only serve three years in prison.

Before imposing the sentence, Smith told Gomez that she did not believe his “Harry Potter” story and stated, “I do believe that you sexually assaulted the child and slapped her and then threatened her.”

On April 19, 2015, Gomez went to the 11-year-old child’s grandmother’s house. When he got there he found her watching television, and when she got up to get some water to drink, Gomez slapped her on her butt, telling the eleven-year-old girl that she had “a fat ass.”

After slapping the girl on her butt, he threatened her, telling her that if she told anyone, he would kill her and throw her body in the creek. He then put his arms around her and tried to kiss her.

In court, the girl testified that his breath smelled of alcohol, and that her grandmother was asleep when Gomez assaulted her.

When her grandmother woke up, the child told her what Gomez had done to her. She also told her mother, when she arrived home.

In his defense, Gomez gave a statement from the prisoner’s dock.

Gomez told the court that he had gone to the house to see his boss, who is a relative of the child. His boss told him that he would not work that day, because he was not feeling too well.

Gomez told his boss that he would cut the yard, he explained in his statement. He said that he stated to cut the yard and stopped around noon and then went to the grandmother’s house to ask her what she was cooking for the day.

Gomez said that when he arrived at the house the television was off and he put a movie in the DVD player and began to watch it.

The girl came and sat beside him, he said, and told him that she couldn’t believe that he was watching such a “simple” movie. She then turned off the movie and put one of her own in the player, and an argument ensued between the two of them, said Gomez.

Gomez said that he then got up and took out the DVD and the girl began to cry. He slapped her and she went into another room.

The girl’s aunt came out of one of the rooms and asked him why he had slapped the girl, Gomez claimed.

Conversely, also in court, he said he told the girl’s aunt that he didn’t slap her.

Gomez told the court that after he and the girl got into an argument over the movie, he took the remote control for the television and threw it on the table and walked out the house.

He did not return to the house until the following day, he said. When he saw his boss, Gomez said, he appeared angry, and drove him away from the house.

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