Raymond Mark Gonzales was sentenced to 40 years in prison March 18 by a 268th District Court jury after they convicted him of trafficking of persons for prostitution.
The 45-year-old Rosenberg man was charged after an investigation by the Rosenberg Police Department.
According to Assistant District Attorney Robert Clopton, Gonzales met his victim in late 2012 and moved in with her – telling her that he loved her and was going to marry her. The defendant’s family members began spending a lot of time at the woman’s apartment, which also caused her electric bill to spiral out of control. Due to the number of people at the apartment and her inability to pay the rising electric bill, the woman was evicted.
Gonzales’s family then drove his victim to an apartment in Houston, and a few months later, to a hotel in Rosenberg. While staying at the hotel in Rosenberg, the defendant began forcing the woman to prostitute herself. When she refused, the defendant would beat her. During this time, the woman would have little contact with her family. She feared calling the police or seeking help because Gonzales threatened to burn down her house and kill her family.
In February 2014, a concerned neighbor called 911 when she observed the victim being assaulted outside of the hotel room where she and the defendant were living. Shortly thereafter, the Rosenberg Police Department began an investigation into Raymond Gonzales for trafficking his victim for prostitution, which ultimately resulted in charges being filed.
“Raymond Gonzales thought he had the perfect victim, someone no one would listen to or believe,” said lead prosecutor Robert Clopton. “But the men and women of Fort Bend County heard this victim’s plea for justice and saw that justice was done.”
Gonzales was tried before Presiding Judge Brady Elliott. Human trafficking in this case is a second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The defendant was not eligible for probation because of a prior felony conviction, which also enhanced his punishment range to the first-degree level of 5-99 years or life in prison.
Assistant district sttorneys Clopton and Tonika Davis prosecuted the case. James Stevens represented the defendant.