New York man who sexually assaulted woman in front of her child before strangling her during home invasion gets 25 years
A convicted felon who broke a woman's back before sexually assaulting her in front of her child during a home invasion has been sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.
The sentencing comes after 27-year-old Dominique Gomez was found guilty of predatory sexual assault, first-degree criminal sexual act, second-degree strangulation, first-degree attempted robbery, burglary, and first-degree assault, and endangering the welfare of a child, unanimously by a 12-person jury at the Dutchess County Court in June.
Gomez was arrested on December 23 last year after state and local police responded to reports that he broke into a residence in Wappingers Falls, New York, demanded money, and then sexually assaulted the victim, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Dutchess County assistant district attorney Lindsey Richards told the court during his sentencing hearing that he had broken into the home, while the victim and her child were sleeping, wearing a "head covering mask" and latex gloves with the aim of extorting money.
Richards said Gomez threw the victim down the stairs, breaking her back, and choked her until she became unconscious when she tried to call 911. "Instead of just leaving he debased this critically-injured woman even further by forcing her to perform a sex act on him," she said.
"What is particularly troubling about this case is not just the sheer violence, brutality, and needlessness for the defendant's crimes, but the fact that they were clearly and carefully planned," she added.
The 27-year-old was convicted of multiple felonies in 2014 after he allegedly robbed and beat a man because he owed his friend money, and spent the next five years in prison. Richards told the court that as soon as Gomez was set free, within two-and-a-half months of being released on parole, he had "committed these abhorrent acts".
The victim was present at the hearing and detailed her horrific experience. "Did he stop and leave my house when he realized I was awake and had no money? No," she said, adding, "Did he choose to stop and leave my house after he broke my back by throwing me down a flight of stairs? No. Did he choose to stop and make the perfect escape after he strangled me unconscious? No."
The incident left her requiring spinal surgery, and she said her injuries affect her every day. She said she had difficulty performing tasks such as putting on socks or bending to pick up anything, and that she has problems while carrying or playing with her child.
She asked Dutchess County Judge Edward McLoughlin to give him a life sentence. "(Gomez) was unfortunately given a second chance at freedom and chose to do these disgusting things to me in front of my child with that chance," she said.
McLoughlin referred to the ordeal of the victim as a "horror movie" and said neither the fear of the mother and the child nor hurting them stopped Gomez from sexually assaulting her.
He also called the 27-year-old a "coward" for planning the assault at night, for not stopping his actions in the presence of a child, and for running away. "I don't know what humanity is left in him," McLoughlin said. "It's soulless. There is nothing to do but to keep him away from everybody else."
McLoughlin sentenced Gomez, who was not present in the court, with the maximum prison term for each charge, all of which will run concurrent to one another.