LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) — A Torrington High School football player charged in a statutory rape case has changed his plea to guilty and will likely be sentenced to nine months in prison.
Joan Toribio pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault in Superior Court on Friday. As part of his plea agreement, Toribio will not have to register as a sex offender. He's expected to be sentenced on Nov. 15.
Another player, Edgar Gonzalez, also pled guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison.
The victim, a 13-year old girl, was later taunted on social media for “ruining” the lives of Edgar Gonzalez and three other players involved in the attack.
Friday, parents faced Gonzalez and said he forever changed their sweet baby girl. The judge said the case impacted the entire community.
Her attacker will spend six year s behind bars, but the victim’s family says the pain will live on.
“The life sentence that we got as a result of the rapist, we have a life sentence,” said the father of the victim.
Hiding his face to protect his daughter, the father and mother of the girl told 18-year old Edgar Gonzalez that he stole something from their 13-year old she will never be able to get back.
Gonzalez pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the teen. Back in February, she snuck out with a friend at 3 a.m. to meet the high school football players, Gonzalez and Joan Toribio.
In court, the prosecuting attorney said Gonzalez pressured her to drink, smoke pot, and have sex.
She said no several times, and he forced himself on her. Gonzalez’s neighbors and family came to support him.
“I was the counselor,” said Benjamin Green. “I said ‘don’t go out in the night, come home from school, sleep at your house. But you know kids.”
“We obviously wanted Edgar to get less of a sentence, but the judge found that the time given was the most equitable amount of time,” said Dennis Bradley, Gonzalez’s defense attorney. “We understand that and we respect the judge’s decision.”
This case shaped school policy. After the girls went to police, they said they took a barrage of cyber bullying. Now, Torrington sports team members could be suspended from their team if they post anything ‘mean-spirited’ online.
For the family of the young girl, no policy, no sentence, will change what happened.
“A life sentence wouldn’t be long enough,” said the victim’s father. “But given how the legislature has set up the laws, we can only take what we can get through the court system.”
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