Sex Registrant Arrested for Soliciting a Child NR10039pv
Los Angeles: Los Angeles police detectives have released the booking photo for Marco Julio Gonzales, 41, who was arrested yesterday, January 25, 2010, on a warrant detectives sought for Annoying a Child under 14 and soliciting an act of prostitution, both misdemeanor crimes.
“This man is a sex registrant for indecent exposure,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of LAPD’s Central Detective Division. “The one sole incident he’s charged with occurred at the William Mead Housing Project. There’s a good chance he’s been to other neighborhoods, too.”
A mother first reported to police that a man had approached her 12-year-old daughter one year ago and offered the little girl $100 for oral sex. “The little girl was so innocent, she did not understand the euphemism the suspect used and went home to ask her mother to explain,” Lt. Vernon said.
The incident was well known among the housing project residents, who kept the police updated on small bits of information, a partial license plate, car color, a physical description, when the suspect returned from time to time. Last week, a resident saw the car and wrote down the license plate. From that, detectives identified Gonzales. “It wasn’t a surprise he was a sex registrant,” Lt. Vernon explained. “Thanks to the open communication between residents and the cops, we have him in custody and no kids were physically harmed, that we know of.”
Detectives used a ruse to get Gonzales to come to the police station with his car. They booked him on the arrest warrant and his bail was set at $40,000. He posted bond and was released the same day.
Gonzales is a resident of San Gabriel.
The crimes alleged amounted to misdemeanors so police needed to identify the suspect and get a warrant from a judge in order to make an arrest. “Otherwise, police would have had to catch him in the act, or a witness would have had to apprehend him and make a private person’s arrest,” Lt. Vernon added. “It was probably better for Gonzales the police got him and not the residents.”
Tipsters can call Detective Det. Josh Riggs at 213-972-1235. During non-business hours, call 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477). Tipsters may contact Crimestoppers by texting the number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.
Lt. Vernon is available for interviews at the Central Police Station. Gonzales’s photo is available from Media Relations Section.