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McHenry man on trial in pimping of 13-year-old girl
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff

Josue Gomez

 

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Published: 1/5/2010 2:52 PM | Updated: 1/5/2010 4:50 PM

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A 13-year-old girl was nothing more to Josue Gomez than "an easy product to sell," a prosecutor said Tuesday as the McHenry man's trial on a charge of juvenile pimping got underway.

Gomez, 18, is accused of arranging for the girl to meet with men for sex on several occasions in September, then keeping at least $40 of her earnings for himself.

"This is a case about the defendant getting money the easiest way he could," Assistant McHenry County State's Attorney Ryan Blackney said in Tuesday's opening statements.

Gomez denies the allegations and his attorney told jurors that his accuser, now 14, has not been consistent with her claims.

"Nothing that (the girl) says has been corroborated other than the identity of a residence and a man she had sex with there," defense lawyer Margi Worth said. "The evidence and testimony will demonstrate that she has a bunch of different versions of these events."

The girl - the trial's first witness - testified she had sex with one man she was taken to by Gomez, but managed to avoid it on three other occasions by crying and telling the would-be johns her age.

She testified she went along with Gomez, the older brother of a longtime friend, because she was afraid of him and scared he would tell her mother what was happening.

"I didn't want any drama," she said.

Although Gomez now denies the allegations, Blackney said that when the defendant was questioned by police last year he admitted going with the girl to meet men. He then described himself as acting only as "the muscle" for another man pimping her, Blackney said.

The trial is expected to last until Wednesday or Thursday. If convicted, Gomez would face between four and 15 years in prison.