JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A 39-year-old man in custody for allegedly being a pimp for a teenage girl he met through a foster care placement service has a lengthy criminal background.
The Jefferson County district attorney has charged Robert Gonzales with 15 counts including child trafficking and sexual assault. Police say he forced the victim, who was in foster care, to take part in child prostitution. The victim was between 14 and 16 at the time.
The girl moved in with her grandmother after her mother died. The grandmother says that she would spend the night a couple of nights a week with a foster mom who was also her school counselor. This is how she met Gonzales, the brother-in-law of the school counselor.
“My heart is broken, my heart is broken, He took my granddaughter,” the woman said.
According to police Gonzales started an inappropriate relationship with the young girl and eventually started selling her services to men through Craigslist.
Investigators say he would give the girl drugs and alcohol before taking her to motels where he would force her to have sex with men in exchange for money and drugs.
“He was giving her meth and she said he would get her really drunk and high on meth so that she could accommodate these men,” Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir said.
The girl told police she met with at least 30 men over the span of 2 years. Weir says it’s not an isolated problem.
“This is an insidious and horrible problem that frankly people don’t want to believe is happening in Jefferson County,” Weir said. “They don’t want to believe that it’s happening in the state of Colorado.”
The girl’s grandmother says she’s now trying to recover her life.
“It’s like he played with her mind, she’s not the same little girl,” she said.
Gonzalez’ criminal background includes numerous past arrests that include drugs and domestic violence charges.