EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 22, 2013

Lawrence officer held in Fla. jail on $165K bond

LAWRENCE — Lawrence police Officer Carlos Gonzalez is being held in a Florida jail on $165,000 bond following his arraignment this week on a charge of child rape.

Gonzalez, 48, was booked on Tuesday and arraigned Wednesday, according to Donna Wood, spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

A 25-year veteran of the Lawrence Police Department, Gonzalez was charged with sexually assaulting a girl while he was on vacation in Haines City, Fla. in July. Haines City is located between Tampa and Orlando.

The victim said she was assaulted in a private home on July 22, 2012. She reported the incident to Lawrence police in December.

Gonzalez was formally arraigned in Florida on charges of sexual battery of a custodian on a person between the ages of 12 and 18 and selling, giving or serving alcohol to a person under age 21, Wood said.

Gonzalez was arrested Feb. 27 in Andover at the Massachusetts School of Law, where he was a student. He was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant, arraigned in Lawrence District Court the following day and then held at Middleton Jail while he awaited transport to Florida. Gonzalez did not fight extradition to Florida to face the charges.

Earlier this month, police in Salem, N.H., also reopened a 2005 sexual assault complaint against Gonzalez. Police in Newton, N.H., also confirmed Gonzalez was the subject of a possible sexual assault investigation in 2005.

Salem police said in 2005 they received a report involving Gonzalez and a child dating to 1994, but not reported to police for 11 years.

In 2005, Gonzalez was living with his then wife at 11 Kenwood Drive in Newton.

To date, no additional charges have been filed by Salem or Newton police.

Gonzalez, who earns $60,000 annually, remains on paid administrative leave from the police department. Police Chief John Romero has suspended his right to carry a firearm.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.

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