East LA Olympic Boxer Paul Gonzales Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Abuse

In 1984, Gonzales became the first American Latino man to win Olympic gold.

East LA Olympic Boxer Paul Gonzales Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – An Olympic gold-medal winning boxer will serve prison time after reaching a plea deal in the sexual assault of a young girl at an East Los Angeles gym where he was a trainer.

FILE — Paul Gonzales in a Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom on child sexual abuse charges. January 2018. (CBSLA)

Fifty-seven-year-old Paul Gonzales, a 1984 Olympic boxing champion, appeared in L.A. County Superior Court Tuesday where he plead no contest to one count each of lewd act on a child under 14 and lewd act on a child age 14 or 15, according to Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson.

He was sentenced by a judge to three years and four months in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

The victim, who is now 17, chose not to speak at the sentencing. The victim’s grandmother told CBSLA Tuesday that her family were outraged at a sentencing that they argued amounts to a slap on the wrist. They were hoping he would get an 18-year sentence.

“He’s pleading no contest, not fair, she’s a child,” the victim’s grandmother told CBSLA outside the courtroom.

Back in December of 2017, Gonzales was arrested on four counts of committing lewd acts on a child under age 14, one count each of attempted lewd act upon a child, possession of child or youth pornography, distributing or showing pornography to a minor and contact with a minor for a sexual offense.

At the time, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said Gonzales sexually assaulted a 13-year-old female student he befriended and groomed at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Club on East Olympic Boulevard, where he had been a head coach for about 10 years. The boxing club is part of the L.A. County Parks and Recreation Department.

Shortly after his initial arrest, Gonzales bailed out of jail with the help of a GoFundMe page that raised $50,000 from the community.

The victim’s grandmother told CBSLA how she came to her family to ask for boxing lessons.

“She trusted him, she trusted him,” the victim’s grandmother said. “She was saying, ‘Mom I want to do boxing, can you get me in there?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ So my daughter and I looked it up and we found it, you know, he was right there. We went in, talked to him, and she started boxing.”

In April of 2020, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $625,000 to the victim in order to settle a lawsuit, because Gonzales was a county employee.

In 1984, Gonzales became the first American Latino man to win Olympic gold, earning the medal in the light flyweight category for boxing. A short documentary made by Trans World Sport in 2014 tracked his rise as a child who broke free from gangs to become a youth mentor. He was even photographed with Muhammed Ali.

“It’s heartbreaking seeing her looking over her back all the time, thinking that he’s gonna come,” the victim’s grandmother said.

A second case was filed earlier this year involving a 14-year-old girl, whom Gonzales didn’t meet through his work as a coach, according to Thompson.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

Source : CBS Los Angeles More   

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Huntington Beach Officially Calls For Offshore Oil Drilling Ban

The city council passed the resolution in response to the oil spill.

Huntington Beach Officially Calls For Offshore Oil Drilling Ban

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) – In response to the massive oil spill earlier this month, the Huntington Beach City Council early Wednesday morning passed a resolution supporting a permanent ban on new offshore oil drilling.

Cleanup crews clean oil chucks off the beach from a major oil spill at Huntington Dog Beach in Huntington Beach on Oct. 5, 2021. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

The resolution, passed just after midnight, calls for a permanent ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling, as well as fracking in state and federal waters. It also calls for “no new federal oil and gas leasing in all U.S. waters.”

According to the ocean conservation group Oceana, Huntington Beach is the 100th community along the West Coast to pass such a resolution.

On the morning of Oct. 2, a rupture was reported to a pipeline owned by Amplify Energy in federal waters at the Elly oil-rig platform, about 4 1/2 miles offshore of Huntington Beach. The nearly 18-mile pipeline runs from Amplify’s offshore drilling platforms to a pump station in Long Beach.

Federal authorities confirmed that a section of Amplify’s pipeline was damaged and moved more than 100 feet along the ocean floor, an indication that a ship’s anchor may have caused the spill.

Authorities initially estimated that as much as 144,000 gallons of oil may have leaked from the damaged pipeline, but officials later said the actual amount is likely much lower, likely around 25,000 gallons, although there is no firm number.

RELATED: Over 80 Oil-Covered Birds, Fish Recovered From Huntington Beach Oil Spill; More Than Half Dead

On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that it has identified the container ship MSC DANIT as a “party of interest” in the oil spill.

Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board marine casualty investigators boarded the MSC DANIT Saturday in the Port of Long Beach.

Prior to the visit, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Braden Rostad, chief of investigations in L.A. and Long Beach determined that the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) DANIT was involved in an anchor-dragging incident on Jan. 25, 2021, during a weather event that impacted the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The anchor-dragging incident occurred in close proximity to Amplify’s pipeline.

As a result of the investigation, the Coast Guard designated the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, S.A. — the operator of the vessel — and Dordellas Finance Corporation — the owner of the vessel — as parties in interest in the oil spill. The “party in interest” designation provides the owner and operator of the MSC DANIT the opportunity to be represented by counsel, to examine and cross-examine witnesses and to call relevant witnesses.

RELATED: Dolphin Found Stranded On Cabrillo Beach

Meanwhile, actress Jane Fonda brought her star power to Laguna Beach Monday to join a group of local lawmakers who called for an end to offshore oil drilling. A protester with a bullhorn heckled Fonda, who quipped, “It’s not like I’m not used to this.”

Fonda asked the activists to take a deep breath and then pointed out that “well over half of the oxygen you just breathed in comes to us because of that,” pointing to the ocean.

Fonda argued that the existing oil rigs in California are “not safe and must be shut down and decommissioned,” but added, “This isn’t enough,” and society must quickly transition to more clean-energy initiatives.

Source : CBS Los Angeles More   

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