Five years to the day after it allegedly happened, an Ellis County judge ruled an incident in which a man exposed himself to a woman in Finney County can be admitted for use in a rape case against him here.
The Wednesday-morning hearing on a motion to include prior bad acts included testimony given via video conference from a woman now living in Austin, Texas, who claimed Hunter Gonzales, 23, Hays, showed his genitals to her while they were students at Garden City Community College.
Gonzales is charged with one count of rape and one count of aggravated sodomy from a Nov. 13 incident in Hays. The complaint alleges the 18-year-old victim, an acquaintance of Gonzales, did not consent to have sex with him and was overcome by force. He was bound over on the charges at a March 15 preliminary hearing.
Arraignment was conducted following the hearing, during which Gonzales pleaded not guilty to each charge. A jury trial has been set for the end of January.
The standard sentence for each count is 155 months in prison. Gonzales is free on a $100,000 bond.
The woman was sworn in on camera by a court official in Austin and testified for about 20 minutes.
She said in 2013 she was a 20-year-old freshman volleyball player at Garden City Community College. On Aug. 22, she said she was in a television lounge on campus when Gonzales — whom she was able to identify over the laptop camera — sat down beside her and started talking to her, asking what her major was and other questions.
She said she had never met Gonzales before, but knew who he was because she had friends on the football team and had seen him before. Gonzales, a Hays High School graduate, signed in spring 2013 to play with Garden City Community College.
The woman said she started to feel uncomfortable after a couple of minutes and left the lounge to walk to the library. She realized Gonzales was following her. When she sat down on a wall outside the library, he sat down with her and, using a vulgar term, asked if she wanted to have sex and tried to kiss her. She said she told him no several times.
“It’s like he didn’t understand the word ‘no,’ ” she said.
She started to walk away, and Gonzales then flashed his “junk,” she said, clarifying after a question from Drees that meant his penis. He was about 6 feet away from her.
The woman said she spent the rest of the semester trying to avoid Gonzales, and had no further contact with him after the Aug. 22 incident.
The woman did not report the incident to the police herself, but was contacted a couple weeks later by the Garden City Police to make a report after another woman reported an incident with Gonzales.
In cross-examination, defense attorney Paul Oller questioned the woman about the timeline. He asked if the incident actually happened on Aug. 7. The woman said no.
Oller then asked if the police report showed she had gone to the police to make her report on Aug. 22, would the report be wrong. She said yes.
Oller also questioned her about details of the layout of the television lounge, how many other students were there, and what she and Gonzalez talked about in the lounge and for how long.