November 04, 2011 4:53 PM
Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO • Nearly two years after Barstow Mayor Joe Gomez was charged with touching a woman inappropriately, his defense attorney said the incident was consensual at a hearing Friday morning in San Bernardino.

Gomez has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery after he allegedly touched a woman intimately on Dec. 18, 2009 “for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification and sexual abuse.”

There have been several pre-trial motions since charges were filed against him, but Gomez’s defense had not made a statement in court about the victim’s claims until Friday.

John Dorr, Gomez’s attorney, requested medical records from the alleged victim’s counselor on Friday in the hopes the documents would help prove the incident was consensual.

Dorr said Gomez and the victim knew each other very well and that Gomez, his significant other, the victim and her husband would often hang out together.

Dorr also mentioned a specific incident that happened the day before the battery, where Gomez and the victim went out for drinks together. On Dec. 27, 2009 the victim was joking about the night of the incident with a friend, according to Dorr.

If convicted, Gomez could face a fine of up to $2,000 and a six-month jail sentence. He would also have to register as a sex offender.

To read more about the trial, see the full story in Saturday’s Daily Press. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

Karen Jonas may be reached at (760) 256-4122 or kjonas@DesertDispatch.com.