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Gomez to be sentenced today in stranger rape case

WILLMAR — Esequiel Gomez Jr., 22, of Texas, is scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon on second-degree criminal sexual conduct for sexually assaulting a teenage girl last July near the footbridge over the railroad tracks in Willmar.

The hearing is set for 1:15 p.m. before District Judge Donald M. Spilseth in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Gomez entered into a plea agreement in May that reduced the charge from first-degree level and increased his sentence to 117 months, nearly 10 years, which is an upward departure from state sentencing guidelines.

Gomez has been held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $1 million bail since October, when he was extradited to Minnesota from Texas after DNA testing linked him to the July 29, 2012, sexual assault.

Gomez is charged with capital murder for the August 2011 killing of an elderly woman in Tulia, Texas. He is also appearing during the same hearing on a felony charge of being a fugitive from justice, and told the judge during his May plea hearing that he wants to fight extradition back to Texas.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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