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Bail set at $1M for Gomez in Willmar, Minn., rape case, wanted for murder in Texas

Esequiel Gomez Jr.

WILLMAR -- Bail was set at $1 million this morning for a 21-year-old Texas man charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct for the July 29 sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in Willmar.

Esequiel Gomez Jr. has allegedly admitted to the sexual assault, along with confessing to a double murder and sexual assault case in Texas, according to statements made by Assistant County Attorney Dain Olson in Kandiyohi County District Court.

There is an outstanding warrant for Gomez on a capital murder charge in Swisher County, Texas, Olson told District Judge Michael J. Thompson before Thompson set the $1 million bail amount.

According to Olson, DNA evidence collected at the local crime scene assisted in identifying Gomez as a suspect in the murder case in Tulia, Texas.

When asked by Thompson to speak specifically about the conditions of release, Gomez politely responded to the judge. "There's nothing I have to say about that sir," Gomez said. "I just ask that ... not to make me look like a monster."

According to the criminal sexual conduct complaint, a teen girl reported she'd been sexually assaulted around 2 a.m. July 29 in the area of the walking bridge near High Avenue Northeast. The girl identified Gomez in a photo lineup. A Willmar Police officer had also encountered Gomez in the park at Robbins Island about an hour before police were called to the rape report. The girl, another individual and the Willmar officer reported Gomez as a Hispanic male with a fishing hat and pole.

Gomez was apprehended in Randall County Texas about three weeks after the sexual assault and was extradited back to Minnesota to face the charges here.

Gomez is held in the Kandiyohi County Jail. His next appearance is Oct. 15.

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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