Man guilty of
bigamy, molestation, spouse abuse
A 48-year-old man was convicted Wednesday in Sacramento
Superior Court of bigamy, spousal abuse and molesting a
daughter of one of three women he was living with.
jury of 10 women and two men, however, found Luis Alberto
Gonzalez not guilty of three counts of spousal rape and
deadlocked on a single charge of stalking.
prosecution said that Gonzalez had two marriage certificates
from El Dorado County for two different women, and he had
live-in relationships with four other women under ceremonial
The prosecution said California law allows prosecution for
bigamy even without proof of a legal marriage.
a con man and a predator," said the woman who accused him of
rape and is the mother of the then 11-year-old molestation
"I would like to see Mr. Gonzalez spend the
rest of his life in jail," she said.
remains in custody with no bail, faces 59 years and four
months in prison at sentencing Aug. 9 before Judge Trena H.
Gonzalez was arrested after one of the
three women he was living with at the time accused him of
raping and stalking her in 2001.
Gonzalez testified he
believed in the former Mormon tenet of plural marriages but
denied the rapes and molestation.
He testified that he
had lived with the same three women for two years, along with
their 15 or so children, in a rented home in
The group shared house chores, and a
calendar was kept so that each woman knew when it was her time
to spend the night with Gonzalez, witnesses
Deputy District Attorney Nancy Cochrane told
jurors that Gonzalez ruled the home with an iron hand. No one
could leave without his permission, she said.
prosecution said Gonzalez became physically violent with the
The prosecution said that Gonzalez told people
he was a bishop with the Mormon Church and was later
excommunicated when the church learned of his multiple wives,
but that was never substantiated.
He later formed his
own church, calling it Jesus Christ of the United World Order,
Defense attorney Laurance Smith told
jurors that the three women involved in the case at first
liked the living arrangement. The defense said a photograph
taken that autumn showed Gonzalez and the third wife smiling
together on a sofa.
Even after the house they lived in
was sold, the group stayed together and for several weeks
lived at a campsite along Folsom Lake, evidence
"The whole case revolves around jealousy and
rivalry," Smith said outside court Wednesday.
said that the other two women contradicted the alleged rape
As the verdict was read, Gonzalez
sat in the courtroom shaking his head, which was hung
Jurors said afterward there was not enough
evidence to back up the rape charge.
One juror said she
could understand how the lifestyle and Gonzalez might intrigue
a young mother who was alone.
But, she said, "The
people involved made some bad decisions and should have done
Al Locher, a veteran Sacramento
prosecutor, said he is unaware of anyone ever being convicted
of bigamy in Sacramento County.
In Utah last summer,
Tom Green, a man with five wives and 30 children, was
sentenced to five years in prison in Utah's biggest polygamy
case in nearly half a century. Green was convicted last month
of child rape for impregnating one of his wives-to-be when she
was 13 in the mid-1980s.
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