Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 49 / 7 December 2017
 

Redwood City man pleads no contest to orally copulating teen boy

Gustabo Rodriguez (Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff's office)

Gustabo Rodriguez (Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff’s office)

A Redwood City man has pleaded no contest to charges that he orally copulated a teenage boy.

Gustabo Rodriguez, 22, of Redwood City, was working at Sequoia High School as a part-time teacher’s aid when he initiated a relationship with the victim, a 15-year-old student at the school, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a summary.

On four occasions, Wagstaffe said, Rodriguez orally copulated the boy in Rodriguez’s bedroom.

“The defendant also videotaped himself shaving the victim’s pubic hair and did this without the victim’s knowledge or consent,” Wagstaffe said.

Rodriguez knew the boy was only 15, the DA said.

Someone anonymously emailed the video to the school’s vice principal, who on July 29 notified Redwood City police. After an investigation, police arrested Rodriguez, who’s being held in Redwood City’s Maquire Correctional Facility on $300,000 bail.

Rodriguez, who was charged with our felony counts of oral copulation of someone under 16, pleaded no contest to two counts Thursday, October 27 on the condition that he receive a maximum of two years in prison.

Steve Chase, Rodriguez’s attorney, said in an email that Rodriguez could get probation, “and I will be pushing strongly for that.”

Rodriguez “is a lovely young man,” Chase said, “and there was nothing predatory about the circumstances of this crime. Regardless of what his sentence will be, having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life will be a huge punishment that will prevent him from working as he has in the past, and greatly restrict where he can live. It’s a shame.”

The sentencing is set for January 4, 2017, when San Mateo County Superior Court Judge will also get a sex offender risk assessment report. A no contest plea is similar to a guilty plea, but it generally can’t be used against the defendant in a civil lawsuit.

Chase has previously said, “The young man who is the complaining witness in this case was like a younger brother to Gustabo, and the boy’s mother, like a mother to Gustabo as well. This case demonstrates how our justice system’s approach to punishment in ‘sex’ cases is Draconian and not tailored to deal with individuals.”

He also said that Rodriguez is “intelligent and caring, and has been very cooperative with law enforcement in this case. There isn’t even a touch of evil in his soul.”

Putting Rodriguez in prison could place him at risk, Chase said.

“Gustabo is small in stature, and could be subject to abuse by the bigger inmates,” Chase said. “He doesn’t deserve that”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 28, 2016 @ 1:57 pm PST
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