A now-convicted child rapist is on the run after his trial took a bizarre turn in Alamogordo.
Antonio Gonzales, 36, was still considered innocent until proven guilty when he went on trial Wednesday for the rape of a minor, but after a lunch break, Gonzales failed to return to court.
The trial carried on without him, and it didn’t take long for jurors to return a guilty verdict. Now, authorities are on the hunt for Gonzales, so he can be sentenced.
“Well, ultimately when we catch him it certainly…he’s going to have a hard time explaining to the judge why he shouldn’t get the maximum sentence. It was an egregious crime by itself, but then you couple it with the fact he decided to flee the jurisdiction,” 12th Judicial District Attorney John Sugg said.
He faces 78 years in prison.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to Gonzales’ arrest.