In response to the messages about Gonzales

parkerlive

Over the weekend, I was contacted by several of the family members of Alexander Ezekial Gonzales, who was the subject of a news article on this website Friday announcing his 11 year prison sentence for child abuse.

The family have since asked me repeatedly, in multiple ways via multiple channels, to take the article down. This has taken the form of asking, of ranting, of pleading, of alleging some wrongdoing by Parker Live, of even threatening legal action. I have consistently but politely refused to remove the article and stand by that decision, although there are a few things I’d like to pass along to our readers in clarification.

First, it’s a sad story, whatever the details, whoever committed wrongdoing. I sympathize with all concerned, but especially the innocent children at the heart of the case.

Second, the item is news, and it is newsworthy (such sentencing details are clearly in the public interest). That’s our role, and that’s my job. So I won’t remove the article, which was prompted by a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release and relates directly to a Parker-area criminal case. Our ongoing mission is to give you, Parker Live readers, information and news on the Parker area, warts and all. So we’ll keep doing that, as other publications do.

Third, one thing is obvious from the messages I’ve received: many of his family members strongly believe he is innocent. This is ironic, considering that he pleaded guilty in federal court! But it does prompt us to ask the following question: Is it possible that someone who pleads guilty is actually innocent? Most people would think no. The answer, actually, is yes. Believe it or not, it happens, for various reasons. So it is possible that Gonzales did not commit the crime he pleaded guilty to, and is – as some of his family maintains – actually innocent. In a society where we forget the presumption of innocence easily, and forget the imperfect nature of our justice system, I always encourage Parker Live readers to reserve judgment for that reason. Of course he could be absolutely guilty too. I have no idea.

So, whether you have an opinion about the case or not, I’m passing along to you readers both the strength of this family’s persistence in this matter, whatever it might mean, and an affirmation that this website will continue to deliver news as fairly as we can.

Thanks for being part of our community.

John Wright
Editor

18 comments

  1. Fabian Castro

    John
    Good job bro and great points.

  2. Rachel Espinosa

    If I had children living in Parker, I would want to know if someone hurt children like that. What if nobody knew and he was hanging out with kids later in life? I think you’re doing the right thing of reporting news that I believe everyone needs to know about. It’s unfortunate for the family as they may have had no clue if he did in fact do it. I hope people in the small town do realize that if he is guilty, it was not a family event and the family should not be treated differently for his possible wrong doing of another family member.

  3. Tim C. Stevens-Welsh

    This was an excellent very diplomatic response…. I’m also glad that you are accepting and taking responsibility and standing by your work , I think however you should have followed the case in detail from beginning to end if you were that concerned, it is sad especially for our tribal community for all involved in this horrible situation 🙁 n we for know if he’s innocent or guilty … Although we know justice has delivered a sentence.

  4. Alecia Martinez

    http://crit.nsopw.gov. Here is another one to look at its not just one!!!!

  5. Leo Scott

    Just do your job, don’t worry about any of these people. It’s news…

  6. Tim C. Stevens-Welsh

    CRIT has a sex offender registration updated every 3 months

  7. Parker Live Updates

    Tim- Thanks, I agree it would’ve been good to cover the case in greater detail.

  8. Daniella Leivas Holt

    I think another option would be to take away the option to leave comments. My family went through the same thing a couple years back and I remember being ok with reason it in the newspaper but when it was on this site, I got to see all the rumors and mean things people had to say. Talk about a hard pill to swallow! Its a small town and people gossip enough as it is to have to read it with the news that gets thrown out there. Its not like people who report the news get 100% of the story. Everybody knows that. Therefore, there shouldn’t be a spot for anybody and everybody to fill in whatever blanks they feel they should for whoever else to see- that should be done on their own Facebook page. Nobody knows what that feels like until it happens to them.

  9. Cory R. Runyon

    Seems to me like everyone is worrying about whether or not this guy is guilty when maybe we should all be worrying about protecting children. That to me is the most important part.

  10. Nana Gillaspy

    Protecting children is the priority, not offenders.

  11. Susan J. Nicholas

    This was very well written.

  12. Angela Douglas

    Life Pro Tip: If you don’t want to read some of the most vile and hurtful things you’ll ever see, don’t read the comment sections on the internet. The anonymity leads people to say some outrageous things they’d never say in public. It’s great, because you get the raw uncensored version of what people are thinking. It shouldn’t be removed. But I personally am not going to subject myself to that. I’d advise the same, don’t read the comments.

  13. Daniella Leivas Holt

    You must be fortunate enough to have never had anything like that happen to you or your family. Easier said than done.

  14. Jennifer Jones

    Most cases never go to trial and suspects are often convinced to plead guilty. Let’s hope justice was served in this particular instance.

  15. Scott McGuire

    John,
    Haveing moved from Parker I rely on articles from you as a source of what’s happing in my hometown, sure every story has 2 sides but your side is always well composed and needs to be told.
    Thank you

  16. Thank you for presenting the news in an objective fashion, so that readers can form their own opinions, whatever they may be. I appreciate the information that you provide about our great community, so that i can stay informed and help keep my family safe, and still enjoy all the fun things to do here! Thank you, and i look forward to reading more!

  17. Obviously the family does not understand DNA. The Feds matched his to the victim. As for publishing the story, it’s a public record. The guilty party needs therapy along with incarceration. What good will come from housing him with a bunch of other criminals then turning him loose on society?

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