ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- A member of a New Mexico health club was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl at the club.
Juan Gonzalez, 20, was taken into custody Tuesday night and was being held on a $200,000 cash-only bond, according to multiple media reports. He is charged with criminal sexual penetration, kidnapping and evidence tampering.
The girl had been in the children’s center of Midtown Sports and Wellness in Albuquerque, NM, shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday when Gonzalez offered to help an employee fix a video game for the girl. A short time later, Gonzalez re-entered the room and assaulted the girl, who quickly approached the employee in tears about the incident. The girl’s mother was working out in the club and called police.
“The most horrific thing you could imagine a child could go through,” Albuquerque Deputy Chief Beth Paiz told local media. “He held his hand over her mouth so she couldn’t scream. He could hear the child say, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’”
Gonzalez, who had taken a shower right after the incident in an attempt to wash away the evidence, confessed to police about the incident and admitted he has a problem with touching children, telling police detectives that he assaulted a boy and a girl when he was 13.
A judge learned Thursday that Gonzalez, a student at a local community college, had a 2008 charge of illegally entering the United States from Mexico. Gonzalez’s mother works nights at the club as a janitor, according to one report.
In a statement released to Albuquerque TV station KOAT, officials with the club said: “New Mexico Sports and Wellness can verify that our associates acted immediately and authoritatively upon being notified of the incident being investigated by Albuquerque police. Sports and Wellness staff have, and will continue to, fully cooperate with the authorities in their investigation. However, due to the pending investigation, we cannot provide further detail about the incident.”