Odessa man charged with sexually assaulting 12-year-old niece

By  | 

ODESSA -- A 46-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after he reportedly sexually assaulted his 12-year-old niece multiple times throughout 2018, our partners at the Odessa American report.

Gabriel Mendoza, 46. (Photo: Ector County Sheriff's Office)

Gabriel Mendoza was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, each a first-degree felony, continuous sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, indecency with a child (sexual contact), a second-degree felony, online solicitation of a minor under 14 years old (sexual conduct), a second-degree felony, and tampering with a witness, a third-degree felony.

There is also U.S. Marshal hold on Mendoza.

The sexual assaults happened July 15, Aug. 4 and Sept. 18, Odessa Police Department affidavits stated.

Mendoza reportedly took his niece to motels to sexually assault her. The 12-year-old stated her uncle had sexually assaulted her five times.

The first reported sexual assault happened July 15 when Mendoza contacted the niece’s mom asking permission to take the 12-year-old out to eat.

On the Aug. 15, the second reported sexual assault happened when Mendoza told the girl’s mother he wanted to take the 12-year-old out to eat and take her to the mall to buy school supplies.

The final reported sexual assault on Sept. 18 occurred when the 12-year-old snuck out of the house and met Mendoza, who was waiting down the street. Mendoza picked up the girl and took her to a motel where he choked her, exhibited a knife and sexually assaulted her, the affidavit stated.

A SANE exam showed the 12-year-old had trauma to her neck, body and vaginal area, the affidavit stated. Mendoza also reportedly sent a text message to the 12-year-old’s mother admitting to engaging in sex multiple times and asking for forgiveness.

Mendoza reportedly fled to Mexico before he could be arrested in September of 2018, but he was arrested on Dec. 23, 2018 at the Port of Entry in El Paso. Mendoza reportedly had images and messages on his phone from the 12-year-old girl.

Mendoza was arrested and transported to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center. He has seven bonds totaling $1.25 million and was still in custody as of Thursday morning, jail records show.