Co­ria-Gon­za­lez ‘was never go­ing to stop,’ pros­e­cu­tor says.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - METRO & STATE - By Ryan Au­tullo

A man ac­cused in a se­ries of at­tacks against women in North Austin was sen­tenced to life in prison on Fri­day.

Ni­codemo Co­ria-Gon­za­lez, 27, was con­victed of ag­gra­vated sex­ual as­sault this week in con­nec­tion to an at­tack on a 56-year-old woman along an iso­lated dirt path in April 2016. DNA ev­i­dence linked Co­ria-Gon­za­lez to the crime.

Af­ter the sen­tence was read, the vic­tim in the case took the wit­ness stand and told Co­ria-Gon­za­lez she had for­given him.

“I’m thank­ful for this storm you put me through be­cause with­out it I wouldn’t know my strength, my self worth and my power,” she said.

Af­ter the con­vic­tion, the jury also heard from other women ac­cus­ing Co­ria-Gon­za­lez in three ad­di­tional cases. In all, po­lice say he at­tacked seven women over a seven-month pe­riod be­gin- ning in De­cem­ber 2015.

The jury also as­sessed a $1,000 fine to Co­ria-Gon­za­lez, a Mex­i­can na­tional who has been de­ported five times.

Pros­e­cu­tor Amy Mered­ith said each of the four cases her team pre­sented to the jury con­tained foren­sic ev­i­dence point­ing to Co­ria-Gon­za­lez as the sus­pect.

“He was def­i­nitely a pred- ator,” she said. “When you put (all the cases) to­gether, you could see his vi­o­lent na­ture. He was never go­ing to stop.”

Co­ria-Gon­za­lez came up on po­lice’s radar in the sum­mer of 2016 af­ter a woman said she was stabbed by a man who had taken her to a con­ve­nience store for cig­a­rettes. De­tec­tives pulled sur­veil­lance video from the store and dis­cov­ered the woman had ar­rived in a 1999 Acura, which was traced back to Co­ria-Gon­za­lez.

Co­ria-Gon­za­lez’s rel­a­tives tes­ti­fied in the trial’s sen­tenc­ing phase that al­co­hol in­flu­enced his crim­i­nal be­hav­ior.

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