LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) — A Torrington High School football player charged in a statutory rape case was sentenced Friday to six years in prison and apologized to the victims and their families.
Edgar Gonzalez was sentenced in Superior Court on a charge of second-degree sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. He had pleaded guilty.
“I’ve always been a good person,” the 18-year-old Gonzalez said. “I have no excuses for my actions.”
The mother of the victim referred to her child as “our sweet baby.”
“He stole something that she will never get back,” she said. “He raped her.”
Another football player, 18-year-old Joan Toribio pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault. As part of his plea agreement, Toribio will not have to register as a sex offender.
He’s expected to be sentenced Nov. 15.
“This is an isolated incident that he was involved in,” said Toribio’s lawyer, Charles Brower.
Prosecutors said the assaults occurred Feb. 10 at Toribio’s home.
Gonzalez, Torrington High School’s most valuable player last year, was one of four football players charged in a case that involved two victims.
Authorities say the accusers and suspects knew one another. State law prohibits sexual encounters between a 13-year-old and anyone more than three years older.
The case drew attention because the girls were bullied on Twitter by the players’ supporters who accused the victims of “snitching” and “ruining” the players’ lives.
The case led to new social media rules in Torrington for student athletes. Students would be punished for posting belittling or mean-spirited comments online or using derogatory language to describe someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation.
They also would face discipline for posting about using drugs or alcohol.
In arrest warrants unsealed after the football players were charged, Gonzalez was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, although she said “no” several times during a voluntary meeting.
Authorities said two 17-year-old football players also were arrested and charged with sexual assault for incidents involving one of the 13-year-old girls.