Hardy Plumbing
April 06, 2011

Suspected Pedophile Surrenders



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"My life is over."

"I'm gonna lose my family."

"I'm sick and I need help."

Those are the statements Henry P. Lopez Gonzalez made when he walked into police headquarters. He said those things, then confessed to sexually abusing three East Hampton children he knew.

Lopez Gonzalez, 27, also of East Hampton, was charged with multiple felony counts of first-degree criminal sex act and sex abuse, plus misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. A native of Ecuador, he was arraigned last Friday morning in East Hampton Town Justice Court, where bail was set at $1 million. Lopez Gonzalez was remanded to Suffolk County jail, where he was reportedly placed on suicide watch. Police have contacted US Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding his status.

"The victims are all known to him," East Hampton Town Police Detective Lieutenant Chris Anderson reported Friday. One of the children, aged four, five, and seven, "made a disclosure" to a family member, the detective said. Family members, in turn, confronted the suspect, and "based on that he was compelled to seek out the police," Anderson said, adding, "It is odd somebody would walk into a police station [with such a confession.]"

To protect underage victims of sex crimes, police refrain from releasing any information that could possibly identify the children. "We certainly do anything we can to protect the identity of any victim of sexual assault," Anderson affirmed.

Anderson said police intend to reach out to the victims' families to see if there are still other abused children out there.

Married, and with children of his own, Lopez Gonzalez has lived in East Hampton for a decade, working as a chef, most recently at Nichol's. On Friday, Judge Lisa Rana issued orders of protection requiring him to stay away from the three victims. According to court reports, the alleged sexual acts comprised oral sex and showing the children porn movies while he masturbated. The alleged abuse went on for several months.

A person is guilty of first-degree criminal sex act when he engages in oral or anal sex with a victim under the age of 11. A B-felony and the most serious charge Lopez Gonzalez faces, it is punishable by between five and 25 years in prison.

kmerrill@indyeastend.com

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