ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A man convicted of beating a woman with a board on the High Line Canal Trail has been sentenced to more than two decades in prison.
Julio Cesar Gonzalez, 25, was sentenced this month to a total of 25 years in prison on three felony counts in the crime, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. His convictions include first- and second-degree assault, as well as menacing with a weapon.
The victim in the July 11, 2020, incident in Aurora told police she was near First Avenue and Moline Street around 6 a.m. when a man attacked her with a board.
“While open spaces are for all to enjoy, we all deserve to feel safe,” she said in court, according to the DA’s office. “I’m always on high alert when I hear something behind me, fearing what could be another attack. No number of apologies could undo or right what happened to me that day.”
Evidence found at nearby encampment
Police found evidence of Gonzalez’s involvement at a nearby homeless encampment, where they learned he had a GPS ankle monitor and was at the crime scene when the attack happened, according to the DA’s office. Investigators found a piece of wood and a black bed headboard that were similar to the wood found at the crime scene.
An investigation revealed that another attack happened three days before, the DA’s office said. In that case, a woman was riding her bike with her two teen daughters when a man attacked her with a board. She identified Gonzalez as her attacker in a photo line-up.
“The evidence left no doubt that Gonzalez was solely responsible for viciously attacking two women who were utilizing the public trail, something they did every day for exercise,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jason Siers said in a statement. “The victims showed enormous strength and courage to survive and we hope this week’s sentence brings them some closure.”
Before the attacks, Gonzalez was out on bond in connection to a March 2020 burglary case, according to the DA’s office.