Martinez, Calif. – Last week, defendant Manuel Gomez-Antonio (39-year-old resident of Concord) was convicted by plea of child sex trafficking and related crimes arising from a joint affirmative enforcement operation conducted by Contra Costa’s Human Trafficking and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces in January of 2019.
Gomez-Antonio was convicted of violations of Penal Code Section 236.1(c) and 288.4(b) and was sentenced to serve a year in county jail. Honorable Leslie G. Landau accepted the plea agreement and sentenced the defendant. His three-year probation supervision terms include a 100-yard stay-away order from the Concord park, prohibitions against using or possessing any on-line dating applications, and search and seizure terms that include all digital devices.
Using an online dating application, the defendant offered to pay what he believed to be a 14-year-old boy to perform a sex act in a Concord park. The “boy” was an undercover police officer. The defendant was arrested by officers when he drove to the pre-arranged meeting location by the tennis courts in the park.
Deputy District Attorney Nichelle Holmes prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. DDA Holmes is assigned to the Office’s Human Trafficking Unit.
This investigation was conducted by the multi-agency Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is managed by the San Jose Police Department. In Contra Costa County, detectives and investigators from the Walnut Creek, Martinez, San Ramon, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Concord and Moraga Police Departments, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, United States Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Contra Costa County Probation Department, and Inspectors from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office participate in the task force.
The Human Trafficking Task Force as a multi-agency state, federal and local task force that enhances collaborative efforts with victim service providers to investigate and prosecute all forms of trafficking in our community. A priority of both task forces is the safety of children from online predators.
Parents seeking additional resources can visit www.kidsmartz.org or the website for the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at www.svicac.org. Reports of illegal activity involving minor victims on the internet should be reported at once to your local police department.
To report suspected trafficking, call the Human Trafficking Tip Line and leave a message: 925-957-8658
Case information: People v. Manuel Gomez-Antonio, Docket 01-193956-0