If the allegations are true, it's bad enough that a 27-year-old Anaheim man developed a sexual relationship with a girl age 13 or younger.
But the man is also claimed to have told her he would only remain her “boyfriend” if she had sex with his uncle, a 61-year-old Anaheim man.
To top it off, Benjamin Avila, the younger man, is not really the nephew of Jose Luis Gonzalez, the older man. And to really get your blood boiling, cops say they have retrieved communications between the two that indicate they preyed on other girls.
Avila is now facing more than two decades in prison with a conviction, while Gonzalez is looking at 180 years. The case against them began on or about Oct. 9, when a concerned parent contacted the school resource officer at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo to report an inappropriate relationship between the girl and an adult male, according to a statement from the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
The school official contacted the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF) for further investigation. The girl told investigators about the sexual relationship with her boyfriend, who went by “Alex Valesquez,” and “Alex's Uncle,” according to the statement, which added they turned out to be Avila and Gonzalez.
They are not nephew and uncle, confirmed Lt. Jeff Hallock of the sheriff's department.
The sexual relationships is alleged to have occurred from March through September. The girl is said to have provided a detailed description of Gonzalez's home and vehicle, and investigators say they have found explicit text messaging between the girl and Avila, as well as the communications aforementioned where the men talk of preying on others. (Anyone with information is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff's Department at 714.647.7000, or leave anonymous tips with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 or at occrimestoppers.org.)
The residences of Avila and Gonzalez were served with search warrants on Thursday. Avila was being held on $100,000 bail but Gonzalez had his set at $1 million because of a 2000 allegation that he molested a female under age 10, although that case was dismissed.
A statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office Monday afternoon indicates Avila is also charged with eight felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child under 14 with a sentencing enhancement for substantial sexual conduct with a child.
Gonzalez faces 12 felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child under 14 with sentencing enhancements for substantial sexual conduct with a child and committing lewd acts against multiple victims.
Besides hefty prison time (22 years maximum for Avila, 180 years for Gonzalez), each face mandatory lifetime sex offender registration with convictions. They were scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon in the Central Jail in Santa Ana.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.