A recently hired Togiak village police officer is under arrest for the sexual abuse of a minor. Authorities say Daniel Gonzales, 22, admitted that he had sex with a 16-year-old girl in the front seat of his patrol vehicle on Oct. 21.
Alaska State Troopers arrested Togiak village police officer Daniel A. Gonzales Friday, after several days of investigating an accusation that he sexually abused a 16-year-old girl. Troopers said Gonzales admitted to having sex with the minor, but he insisted the act was consensual.
Alaska state law, however, does not allow for consent between a 16-year-old and a person over the age of 20 who holds any position of authority.
Gonzales was transported to Dillingham. Following an arraignment Saturday on the felony charge of second degree sexual abuse of a minor, Gonzales’ bail was set at $10,000.
According to the trooper report, VPO Gonzales had given the victim a ride home during his shift on October 21. Gonzales then began texting her, asking if she would like to go for another ride.
He picked her up later that evening in his patrol car, though it’s unclear if he was still on-duty at the time.
VPO Gonzales drove the victim to a secluded area outside of town where the two allegedly had sex.
The victim apparently told authorities that she was frightened during the encounter, and thought that Gonzales may have said threatening things. Afterwards, she said she received conflicting text messages from Gonzales, some apologizing for his actions and some asking if she would like to meet up again. She told authorities that she deleted all of the messages from her phone after Gonzales told her to.
On Friday, authorities listened in as Gonzales admitted to the sexual encounter during a phone conversation with the victim’s sister. Presented with that evidence later in the day, Gonzales provided a written confession and was taken into custody.
Gonzales, 22, is a graduate of Togiak High School.
The city of Togiak said Monday that Gonzales was hired to his position on October 12, just nine days before the sexual encounter allegedly occurred. According to the city, Gonzales was fired on November 1, the day he was arrested.
Prior to being hired, the city said Gonzales had completed a Village Police Officer training program, which are typically two weeks long and run by the Alaska State Troopers.