The man responsible for brutally beating two women on a popular trail in Aurora in 2020 has been sentenced to nearly three decades in prison, according to a news release from the District Attorney's Office of the 18th Judicial District.
The attack took place on July 11, 2020 at about 6 AM. One of the victims was reportedly walking on High Line Canal Trail in Aurora when 25-year-old Julio Cesar Gonzalez began beating her with a wooden board.
The woman sustained substantial injuries to her hands and head and had to be transported to a hospital for treatment.
"While open spaces are for all to enjoy, we all deserve to feel safe," the survivor of the attack said in court according to the release. "I’m always on high alert when I hear something behind me, fearing what could be another attack. No number of apologies could undo or right what happened to me that day."
Following the attack, investigators discovered a piece of wood that had similar characteristics to the one used in the attack at a nearby homeless encampment.
"During a search warrant executed at the campsite, officers found a criminal summons belonging to Julio Gonzalez from an unrelated incident. Authorities also learned Gonzalez was being monitored by a GPS ankle bracelet. GPS data revealed Gonzalez was directly at the scene of the crime on the day and time the attack occurred," the release said.
Police were also able to connect Gonzalez to a similar attack that occurred near the same place three days prior, where a woman was attacked with a piece of wood while riding her bike on High Line Canal Trail. The victim in this case was able to select Gonzalez out of a photo line-up.
“The evidence left no doubt that Gonzalez was solely responsible for viciously attacking two women who were utilizing the public trail, something they did every day for exercise. The victims showed enormous strength and courage to survive and we hope this week’s sentence brings them some closure,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jason Siers said.
Gonzalez was convicted with Serious Bodily Injury with a Deadly Weapon (relating to the July 11 assault), Causing Injury with a Deadly Weapon (relating to the July 8 assault), and Menacing with a Real or Simulated Weapon. In total, he was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
“The defendant’s aggressive and violent behavior showed a complete disregard for human life. People in our community deserve to feel safe at our local parks and trails. I hope this lengthy sentence restores some sense of safety and security in our community,” District Attorney John Kellner said.
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