Kensington man, 41, convicted of repeatedly raping stepdaughter

Posted: February 13, 2013

LUIS GONZALEZ ruled his Philadelphia family with fear and fists.

He often beat his wife and forced his daughter and stepdaughter to watch the brutal assaults.

That wasn't the worst of it.

Gonzalez, 41, also repeatedly raped his stepdaughter between 2000 and 2009, starting when she was 8 years old. On one occasion, Gonzalez raped the girl in front of his then-8-year-old biological daughter.

Gonzalez's reign of terror officially ended Friday, when a Common Pleas Court jury found him guilty of raping the stepdaughter. He also was found guilty of involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a child, intimidation of a victim, aggravated indecent assault and related counts.

He could receive a maximum state prison term of 71 to 142 years when sentenced May 17.

Gonzalez's abuse of his stepdaughter was so shocking that one juror fainted during a physician's testimony, said Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Yankolonis, who will seek the maximum sentence.

"He instilled an immense amount of fear in his family," she said, "but this family stayed strong for years waiting for that day."

Gonzalez, unable to pay 10 percent of his $1 million bail, has been jailed since his arrest in June 2009 at the family's home on Kip Street near Tusculum in Kensington. The arrest came quickly, after his biological daughter told a friend about the abuse, which led police to the home.

During the trial, Gonzalez, a former truck driver, testified that although he had abused his wife on occasion, he never sexually violated his stepdaughter.

The stepdaughter, now 20, and his biological daughter, 15, both testified to the contrary and told of his threats to kill them if they ever told anyone about the abuse.

The girls' mother testified that she had been beaten by Gonzalez, to whom she is no longer married.

Defense attorney Todd Fiore argued that the girls made up the sex-abuse claims to stop Gonzalez from beating their mother.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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