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For Immediate Release

Santa Rosa Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing a Teenager

Santa Rosa | November 21, 2023

Defendant Leonel Padilla Gomez, 36 years old, of Santa Rosa, California, was sentenced on November 16, 2023, by the Honorable Laura Passaglia to 14 years in state prison. This sentence follows Gomez’s convictions related to sexually abusing a teenager.

District Attorney Carla Rodriguez stated: “The victim in this case was willing to come forward and hold Mr. Padilla Gomez accountable under the law for his crimes. I commend the victim for the strength and courage to come forward.”

The charges in this case stem from approximately two years of sexual abuse committed by Gomez against the victim, who was 14 and 15 years old when the abuse occurred. During that time, Gomez had access to the victim due to his trusted role in the victim’s life, as well as the mother’s life. In August 2023, Gomez entered pleas admitting his guilt to several charges related to sexual abuse of a child. The sentencing hearing was attended by both the victim and victim’s mother. At the hearing, the victim’s mother’s impact statement was read in court, and indicated that no amount of prison could ever make right the wrong that was done to her child. Judge Passaglia reiterated that sentiment in her comments to Gomez, and also emphasized that nothing that happened was the victim’s fault; everything that happened was the fault of Gomez. In addition to Gomez being sentenced to 14 years in prison, he was ordered to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 20 years following his eventual release from prison.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Ashley W. Hendon. Detective Justin McLean of the Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.


Contact Information

Media Spokesperson, Assistant District Attorney Brian Staebell
Media Coordinator, Carrie Trevena
(707) 565-3098