Man accused of sex crime pleads to lesser charge

WOODSTOCK – A Loudoun County man accused of sexually abusing a minor in Fort Valley in 2017 avoided trial this week by pleading guilty to a much lesser charge.

Judge Dennis L. Hupp sentenced Gabriel Gonzalez Reyes in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Wednesday to 11 months in jail, all time suspended, after find him guilty of a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery. The judge ordered Gonzalez Reyes,   28, of 42840 Sandhurst Court, Ashburn, to complete 12 months of unsupervised probation.

Gonzalez Reyes, represented by William Mann, entered an Alford plea of guilty to the misdemeanor charge. A defendant who enters an Alford plea maintains his innocence but acknowledges that pleading guilty is in his best interest.

Authorities charged Gonzales Reyes originally with felony aggravated sexual abuse involving a victim less than 13 years old. Aggravated sexual battery carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in a state penitentiary and a fine of not more than $100,000. Assault and battery, a Class 1 misdemeanor, carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail.

A criminal complaint filed in Gonzalez Reyes’ case by Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Aaron Springer states that the accused took a girl under the age of 13 on a go-kart ride on property in Fort Valley on May 13, 2017. The complaint states that  the accused began touching the victim’s leg during the ride and she pushed his hand away on several occasions. The victim told the investigator that Gonzalez Reyes touched her private area over her underwear and she continued to push him away, the complaint states. The victim also told the investigator that the accused offered her $10 to $100 to let him “keep his hand warm,” the complaint goes on to state.

Shenandoah County authorities arrested Gonzalez Reyes, 28, of 42840 Sandhurst Court, Ashburn, on Aug. 15.

The Loudoun County Department of Social Services investigated a similar claim against Gonzalez Reyes but determined the allegations unfounded in July 2017, according to documents filed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court. Gonzalez Reyes turned himself into a magistrate who ordered him held in custody without bond until a judge later granted his release. The checklist used by the magistrate to determine bail states that the Loudoun County man had ties to Shenandoah County at the time of his arrest. The document also noted he had no prior felony convictions. Gonzalez Reyes maintained his innocence when speaking to the magistrate.

A Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge certified his charge of aggravated sexual battery to a grand jury who indicted the defendant on the felony count on Dec. 20.