FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A former teacher at American Union school is headed to prison for five years. Victor Gomez admitted to inappropriate sexual contact with seven girls.
Once a respected math and science teacher, Gomez got no respect in court Friday. Handcuffed and wearing his jail jumpsuit, he got a lecture from Judge Alvin Harrell III. The judge didn't like that Gomez told probation officers he'd worked so hard to build his life only to lose everything -- his wife and his career -- in a single day. "Mr. Gomez, the way the Court read the summary of the facts in this case, it didn't happen in one day," Judge Harrell said. "You basically served as a predator over these young girls. They were very vulnerable. You were in a position of trust. You violated that trust."
Six students who hadn't reached high school age all reported inappropriate sexual touching by Gomez over the course of about six months.
He posted bail, though, and spent nine more months out of jail until another young girl reported him for an even worse sexual crime. "And to have a total of seven known victims, these young ladies, it's quite frankly despicable," Judge Harrell said.
Gomez could've gone to prison for more than eight years on the charges he admitted. But after talking to the victims' families, prosecutors wanted to keep the victims from having to come testify in court. So, they agreed to a 5-year sentence and lifetime registration as a sex offender for Gomez. "The consensus was they didn't want him to be a teacher," prosecutor Deborah Girard said of the victims' families. "They wanted him to register as a sex offender and we got that through this plea agreement."
The victims didn't come to see Gomez punished, but they got what prosecutors say they wanted.
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing suspended Gomez's credentials for misconduct a year ago and with this conviction, they'll permanently revoke his license to teach.