Ex-Mass. police officer free on bail awaiting Salem sexual assault trial
BRENTWOOD — A former Lawrence, Mass., police officer recently found not guilty of sexual assault charges in Florida is now expected to face trial in a second case from the 1990s involving a Salem girl.
Carlos Gonzalez III, 48, was released on $100,000 personal recognizance bail in Rockingham County Superior Court as he awaits trial on 14 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.
A jury acquitted Gonzalez in Florida on Nov. 19, prompting authorities to return him to New Hampshire on a fugitive from justice warrant.
Prosecutors say Gonzalez repeatedly abused the girl in Salem between May 1992 and May 1994 beginning when she was 11 years old, according to prosecutors.
No trial date has been set.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers are expected to meet with a judge next week for a pretrial conference.
Gonzales is being allowed to live at a Lawrence, Mass., address but is barred from having contact with the victim or any children under the age of 18, according to a court order.
Gonzalez was arrested on Feb. 27, 2013, as a fugitive from justice on the Florida charges while attending a class at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover, Mass. He joined the Lawrence (Mass.) Police Department in 1998, but was studying to become a lawyer at the time of his arrest.
Just prior to his arrest, Salem police opened its own investigation into a sexual assault case in the town.
Salem police allege that Gonzalez began sexually assaulting the girl by “rubbing up against her” beginning May 1, 1992, when the girl was 11. The alleged abuse continued until May 15, 1994, according to indictments.
In Florida, Gonzalez had faced charges of sexual battery of a custodian on a person between the ages of 12 and 18. He was accused of sexually assaulting the underage girl last July while on vacation in Haines City, Fla., and serving alcohol to a minor.
If a jury convicts him in the New Hampshire case, he could face up to 10 to 20 years in state prison on each of the charges.