Valdez jury convicts cannery worker of sexual assault

Posted: Friday, June 16, 2000

VALDEZ (AP) -- A jury convicted a cannery worker of sexually assaulting a fellow worker last summer in a bunkhouse at the Peter Pan Seafood plant.

Oscar Gonzales, 32, was convicted Thursday of two counts of second-degree sexual assault. He faces up to 10 years in prison during sentencing Aug. 28 by Valdez District Court Judge Joel Bolger.

Gonzales, who is from California, arrived in Valdez last summer after a stint working at a Dillingham cannery, said Assistant District Attorney Dave Berry. He had no prior felony convictions.

According to court documents, the victim said she'd been drinking with Gonzales and that he was in the bunkhouse when she fell asleep. She told police when she awoke, Gonzales was in her bed. She went to Valdez Community Hospital where an examination confirmed she had recently had sex.

Gonzales told police he couldn't remember what happened. A DNA test connected Gonzales to the victim.

Defense attorney Rex Butler told the jury that the sex was consensual.

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