Man gets life sentence for attack on janitor in Irvine

A man points a replica gun at a woman during an alleged attempted sexual assault in Irvine in 2019
Eduardo Godoy Gonzalez is seen in surveillance footage pointing a replica gun at his victim during an alleged attempted sexual assault in Irvine on Feb. 6, 2019.
(Courtesy of the Irvine Police Department)

A 25-year-old man was sentenced Friday to seven years to life in prison for attempting to sexually assault a woman cleaning offices in Irvine after hours.

Eduardo Godoy Gonzalez attacked the victim about 1:30 a.m. Feb. 6, 2019, in an office building at 17877 Von Karman.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Terri K. Flynn-Peister said, “Frankly, it’s amazing [the victim] was able to fight off the defendant ... with a vacuum pack on her back.’’

The judge added, “You could hear her scream” in the surveillance video of the attack. She also noted that the victim’s impact statement given in January demonstrated she was “still traumatized by what happened to her.”

Gonzalez’s attorney, Randall Bethune of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, argued for his client to get a non-life sentence based on his age at the time, 21, and the fact that he had no prior criminal record.

But Flynn-Peister said the “callousness of the crime” outweighed the mitigating factors in the case.

Gonzalez was given credit for 1,733 days in jail awaiting trial. He was ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Jeffrey Boyd noted that the defendant was busted for using drugs in jail, showing he had not learned from his crime. Gonzalez testified he was on drugs at the time of the attack, Boyd said.

“It’s clear the defendant has engaged in the same behavior that got him here in the first place,’’ Boyd said.

Prosecutors said the victim, who was working as a janitor, was confronted by Gonzalez, who was carrying a skateboard. He asked her in Spanish, “Only you here?”

The victim “did not know how to respond, so she asked if he worked there,” prosecutors said.

Gonzalez responded, “I have condoms, take off your clothes,” prosecutors said. He also offered to pay the woman for sex, prosecutors added.

The victim rebuffed him and said she had children, prompting him to pull out the fake gun and point it at her, prosecutors said. The woman pleaded with him not to kill her because she was a mother, prosecutors said.

Gonzalez told her, “I don’t care, I’m going to kill you,” prosecutors said.

Gonzalez grabbed her by the neck and at gunpoint, pushed her about 20 feet into a conference room, where the two struggled for several minutes, prosecutors said. While the victim hollered for help to get the attention of her supervisor, Gonzalez tumbled over an ottoman and dropped the gun, allowing the woman to run for help in the next-door office building, prosecutors said.

Video surveillance caught the suspect bumping into a glass door of the building, so they had it tested for DNA, prosecutors said. After police put out public calls for help identifying the suspect, Gonzalez’s manager at the Sprouts grocery store in Tustin called investigators and named him as the culprit, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that on Jan. 13, 2019, Gonzalez harassed another woman, offering to pay her so he could perform a sex act on her, prosecutors said.

The woman said she was frightened and rebuffed him, but when Gonzalez persisted, she “changed tactics” and asked him to walk with her until she got to a busy intersection and then exchanged phone numbers with him, prosecutors said. He told her he worked at a grocery store, prosecutors said.

Gonzalez was convicted Dec. 5 of kidnapping to commit a sex offense, assault with the intent to commit a sex offense, criminal threats and burglary, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of brandishing a replica gun.

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