Suspect in rape of girl, 9, convicted
She was diagnosed later with an STD
A jury on Friday convicted an Albuquerque man in the 2018 rape of a 9-year-old girl, who later was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.
The case led to a ruling by the New Mexico Court of Appeals that prosecutors could present evidence showing that the girl had been diagnosed with chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease.
Jurors convicted Andres Gonzales-Gaytan, 30, of felonies including two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13.
The 2nd Judicial District Court jury also convicted Gonzales-Gaytan of bribery for threatening the girl not to tell anyone about the rape.
Second Judicial District Judge Jennifer Wernersbach could sentence Gonzales-Gaytan to up to 99 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled April 27.
The case involved a lengthy battle about whether prosecutors could introduce evidence that the girl had been diagnosed with chlamydia, which can cause long-term fertility problems.
Prosecutors argued that the diagnosis offered clear evidence that the girl had been raped, even though they could not prove that Gonzales-Gaytan had infected the girl, court records show.
Gonzales-Gaytan’s attorneys responded that evidence of a positive chlamydia infection “is highly prejudicial and misleading,” and threatened GonzalesGaytan’s right to a fair trial.
In 2020, former District Judge Daniel Ramczyk barred prosecutors from presenting evidence of the test, writing that “the evidence of the positive test result for an STD in a nine-year-old girl would mislead the jury and unduly prejudice” them against
The Court of Appeals reversed that ruling in November 2021.
The upper court ruled that the girl’s “chlamydia symptoms were consistent with sexual abuse” and supported the girl’s testimony that she had been raped.